President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday that increases transparency and accountability of local law enforcement officers and places restrictions on some of the techniques that can be used in confrontations with assailants, such as choke holds.
During the President’s remarks from the White House he said that “47% of all murders in Chicago and 68% of murders in Baltimore went without arrests last year.”
“Baltimore City police confirmed the president’s statistic Tuesday saying they had a 31% homicide clearance rate, or rate of closing cases, in 2019.
“A spokesperson said since Commissioner Michael Harrison arrived in 2019, the department has re-assessed assets and invested into the homicide unit, including 14 new investigators.
“Now, the department is focusing on staffing and reduction in caseloads for homicide.
“Additionally, the department is investing into accountability tools being put into place and the unit is building on Consent Decree policies and training.
“So far this year, the clearance rate is higher at 45%.”
Seemingly contrary to the goals of dropping the city’s unsolved case rate, the Baltimore City Council has voted to slash the police department’s budget by $22 million; reallocating those funds to public services instead.
“This round of cuts that came with these hearings have demonstrated the will of the people,” said Commissioner Michael Harrison. “We are really kind of a basic functioning police department. There are impacts. Some of them could be negative.”
Current trends show that Baltimore could surpass the 300-homicide mark for the fifth consecutive year. Because of the city’s decreasing population – now about 600,000 – the city is one of the most dangerous in the nation on a per capita basis.