Baltimore City is wrestling with multiple public health crises: the global COVID-19 pandemic and local epidemics of gun violence and preventable overdose deaths. Since 2015, Baltimore has seen more than 300 homicides per year—the overwhelming majority of which were gun-related. In 2020, there were 954 opioid-related overdose deaths in Baltimore.
Historically, Baltimore has over-relied on the 3Ps – policing, prosecutions, and prisons – in an attempt to reduce violence and strengthen community safety. This strategy has not only failed to yield long- term results, it has also come at an extremely high social cost to many of our most vulnerable communities.
Never before has Baltimore developed a holistic public safety strategy, one that aims to treat gun violence as a public health crisis and operationalizes what Baltimore residents want to see from their City government. Furthermore, the City has never developed a multi-year plan to reduce violence in a sustainable way over time, not just for a year or two.
This is an interesting podcast from Professor Peter Moskos’s website. Moskos and Asher and then Brandon Del Pozo (all PhDs) discuss the increase in firearm arrests from police stops. It is cool just to listen to Moskos and Asher discuss different thoughts, concepts, and ideas and then Del Pozo add in his perspective as he joins in at the end of the podcast.
Here are a couple of my thoughts as I listened to the podcast:
What methods were used to get the guns off of the streets? Self-initiated Field Activity (SIFA), Vehicle and Traffic Law stops by officers, was it searches incidental to arrest, and was citizen contact made because police were alerted by type of a shot detection equipment?
What kind of guns are being used? Were Legal or illegal guns being recovered? Is the gun issue a supply issue or a demand issue? Was the gun a Newly purchased gun? What was the length of time from purchase to use?
Asher noted several times that there was limited data from police departments regarding crimes. Jeff also noted that it would be difficult to get specific data about the guns recovered. I think if some of the police departments devised a program of prisoner debriefings for all gun arrests where a specific script is followed (at least to cover the data that is needed) it might be possible to develop a more fuller picture of the gun crime problem.
This podcast can be access HERE
The Philadelphia Roadmap to Safer Communities includes recommendations to dramatically reduce shootings and homicides in the city.
— Read on www.phila.gov/documents/the-philadelphia-roadmap-to-safer-communities/