The escalating gun crisis sweeping Baltimore showed no signs of slowing down over the weekend, with a new study saying police officers are increasingly “afraid to make arrests” and have “no support” from city officials.
“Many Baltimore police officers say making an arrest can be nerve-racking — because they feel overburdened by documenting even necessary force, they worry they will be harshly punished for their actions and they don’t feel supported by commanders — according to a recent report,” writes the Washington Post.
“I don’t feel pride for having 20 uses of force,” said an unidentified officer. “Now, I am afraid to arrest anyone because I don’t want to have so many uses of force [documented] against me.”
“The report was based on eight focus groups of sworn personnel from all three shifts over a three-day period in May. They comprised 40 patrol officers, nine detectives, 10 sergeants and nine lieutenants. The officers were asked about community relations, use of force, the consent decree, leadership and staffing, and areas for improvement,” adds the Post.
The City of Baltimore is also considering the deployment of surveillance aircraft to crackdown on crime and gun violence across the beleaguered city.
“The surveillance plane that flew over Baltimore could be making a comeback,” reports CBS Baltimore. “The owner of Persistent Surveillance Systems said Tuesday he is meeting with Baltimore City Police Commissioner Michael Harrison next week.”
“The current mayor has said if the police commissioner wants it, he should be allowed to have it,” McNutt told WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren. “We hope that when the commissioner sees what we do, and how effective we are, that he would be very supportive of it.”
“Our objective is to reduce major crime by 20-30 percent within the first year. When you look at the numbers, that’s 70 to 100 people not being murdered,” McNutt said. “We would see most of the murders in Baltimore from the plane. You don’t have to solve them all because it’s a small number of people who are committing the vast majority of them, and if we can remove that small number, we can have a dramatic impact on crime.”
Read the full report at the Washington Post.