Before we Baltimoreans become paralyzed by despair over last year’s recordhomicide rate, we should remember one thing: As a nation and a city, we have been in such straits before. And we learned how to address the problem successfully.
Back in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, America’s cities suffered a similar epidemic of violence. In 1990, New York tallied 2,245 homicides, a per capita rate five times greater than in 1960. Baltimore’s rate was one third higher than New York’s, and rates in Detroit and Washington, D.C. were higher still.