Is 300 Homicides in Baltimore the ‘New Normal’?

Three years ago, city police placed steel barricades and a 24-hour command center at the entrance to the 900 block of Bennett Place in West Baltimore. They acted after three men were killed there in a span of several months.

On the same block this week, three people were shot to death in one night. Yet no gates, mobile command center or round-the-clock protection detail followed.

Police say the absence of such measures doesn’t signal any less urgency. But what is clear is that police are busier now than they were in 2013, when 235 people were killed in the city.

This year, Baltimore is fast approaching 300 homicides for the second straight year, and for only the second time since the 1990s. There were 299 homicides in the city as of Saturday.