Baltimore Puts More Officers on Street After Shooting Spree

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After six people were killed and two others wounded in a spate of shootings in Baltimore Monday night into Tuesday morning, Police Commissioner Kevin Davis announced a week-long initiative to deploy more officers on the streets, the Baltimore Sun reports. Effective immediately, all patrol officers and detectives will be required to work 12-hour shifts, rather than their standard 10-hour shifts, and every sworn officer in the department capable of being deployed will be on the street. “There will be a visible, overt presence,” Davis said. Less than an hour after his announcement, officers were called to the scene of a quadruple shooting. There were so many shell casings on the scene that detectives appeared to run out of evidence markers to flag them all, using bits of trash instead.

Davis called the latest violence — in a record-setting year for it — “unconscionable,” and said he joined community members in being “pissed off” about it. “We’re just as angry and frustrated and ticked off about it as anyone else watching, and I expect people to be upset,” Davis said. Many see the city in crisis. Some observers say the problems with drugs and the associated violence in Baltimore are not new, and criticize Davis for not having a cohesive crime plan. Some also have questioned whether outside scrutiny of the department, including under the consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice, has contributed to a soft-on-crime approach in the city. Davis said he does have a plan, which is being implemented, and that police reforms and crime reductions can be achieved if other partners in the criminal justice system — from prosecutors to judges to state legislators — join police to do more to combat the gun violence.

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