After dismantling special operations units throughout the Baltimore Police Department amid a patrol shortage and a high-profile gun squad scandal four months ago, Commissioner Kevin Davis has reassigned more than 150 police officers and supervisors back onto similar teams.
The 21 new “District Action Teams” — two for each of the city’s nine police districts, plus one each for the Pennsylvania Avenue corridor, the Monument Street corridor and the Tri-District area — began deploying this week amid the city’s violent crime crisis and intense debates about how to best address it.
The city marked its 200th homicide on Wednesday, a staggering pace putting Baltimore on track to reach or exceed the historic highs — on a per capita basis — of 344 and 318 homicides in 2015 and 2016, respectively. As of July 15, the date through which citywide data is available, robberies were up 15 percent and aggravated assaults were up 18 percent. Burglaries were up 7 percent.