Baltimore’s homicide count for 2012 reached 200 on Nov. 24, a mark that erases the progress police made last year when the homicide total fell below 200 for the first time since the 1970s. Police officials came up with plans to stem the violence, says the Baltimore Sun. They increased the number of foot patrols citywide, pulling 150 officers from administrative positions to bolster patrol units. They also started the Violence Protection Initiative, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.
The initiative devoted more than 18 district officers to the regional Warrant Apprehension Task Force, made up of law officers from the city and Baltimore County, and the U.S. Marshals Service. The increased resources gave the fugitive-hunting detectives and sergeants that make up the task force’s nine teams two additional officers each. Baltimore City police also approved additional overtime. The goal was to arrest suspects with “a nexus of violence” before they could cause more harm, Guglielmi said. Since the initiative began, the task force has made arrests or cleared warrants on more than 300 cases that include charges of assault, burglary and arson, as well as lesser crimes and violations. At least 291 arrests have been made so far. “Essentially that’s 291 people who are responsible for wreaking havoc in the community off the streets and delivered to justice,” Guglielmi said. At any given time, the city has more than 50,000 outstanding warrants, task force officers said.