Baltimore Police Get Scientific About Fighting Crime

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Baltimore Police Homicide Division

Baltimore has one of the world’s top research universities. It also has a crime problem.

Finally, those two things are coming together: This week, Johns Hopkins University announced that it would join forces with the Baltimore Police Department on the Baltimore Collaborative for Violence Prevention, a research-driven attempt to combat violent crime in the city.

The partnership chose six areas of focus: Assessing ongoing efforts to remove the most violent criminals from Baltimore streets; deterring illegal gun possession and use; fighting crime and building relationships with residents; improving rewards for crime tips; improving police recruitment efforts; and coordinating a summit among district commanders.

“We all have to come together to look at this epidemic of violence — including police, academics and the community — and that’s what the new collaborative facilitates,” said Patrick McCarthy, president and CEO of the Annie E. Casey foundation, which is funding the collaborative, along with the Abell Foundation.

The Baltimore Police Department, which has spent millions of dollars settling with victims of police misconduct even before Freddie Gray’s death in police custody last spring, has been the focus of other collaborative efforts. Let’s hope that this one results in some lasting change.

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