Baltimore Police Shortage a Safety Threat to All

A shortage of Baltimore city police not only affects the officers’ safety in a detrimental way, but it puts Baltimore residents at risk.

President of the Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police, Lt. Gene Ryan, states, “You get in a crisis mode like we’re in right now with crime out of control and not enough uniformed officers on the street. I would say it’s at a crisis point.”

There are currently upwards of 100 fewer Baltimore City Police Dept. officers than last year at this time. The police union president calls the situation “dire,” stating that the shortage causes safety concerns because the present officers are being overworked.

Last week, Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis had a differing point of view.

“We have a hyper-focus in 2017 to get us to a better place come this time next year.”

Lt. Gene Ryan thinks the shortage of street officers could be attributed to too many specialized units.

Ryan said, “The rank and file believe that all these specialized units that have been created under this commissioner are what’s depleting patrol.”

At this time, there are 2,528 sworn officers on the force but only 999 of those are assigned to neighborhood patrols.

The total number of officers is down by 118, with 103 fewer officers on neighborhood beats.

Lt. Ryan states, “You don’t have enough police officers to patrol the streets safely protecting themselves, much less protecting the citizens of Baltimore.”

Baltimore ended last year with the second highest number of murders per capita in the city’s history.

Daphne Alston, a mother whose son was killed in Baltimore, co-founded Mothers of Murdered Sons.

Alston said, “I don’t think it’s the numbers we need to be focusing on. We need to be focusing on the quality of policing.”

She added, “What we’re seeing now is the bomb that has exploded. it’s been building up for a long, long time… We have got to change the focus of our children and our family situations. It’s not a police problem.”

H/T: CBS Local

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