After additional planning and community feedback, the Baltimore Police Department has submitted a revised police district map to the Baltimore City Council.
Earlier this year, Mayor Brandon Scott and Baltimore City Police Commissioner Michael Harrison set plans to change the boundaries of the police districts using information from service calls, population changes, crime rates, and community input.
The Baltimore Police Department asked residents what they wanted to see from the redistricting. The department received more than 1,000 responses from community members through meetings, online surveys, and emails.
In July, the department presented a draft map that proposed changes to the boundaries of the city’s nine police districts, which were set in 1959.
City council members were concerned about how that map would have divided districts along key corridors, such as York Road and Greenmount Avenue.
The revised map, released Wednesday, seeks to address concerns with that previous draft as well as longstanding issues with the current districts.
Residents have expressed concerns about long response times and some districts being too large. City officials said the revised map is designed to balance BPD workload and improve service call times to “focus on community policing and engagement.”
Other concerns involved residents being placed into a new district. City officials said they took those concerns into account, but they added that the Eastern, Central and Western districts need to be expanded so police services are equally distributed throughout the city.
Scott said in a statement that the newly proposed police districts will help “correct a wrong many decades in the making” and adapt to changes in population, workload and crime.
“After several briefings concerning community input, I am proud that we were able to take our residents’ voices into consideration before settling on the finalized boundaries,” Scott said. “This process allows us to modernize policing and transform BPD into a world class law enforcement agency with – not for – our residents.”
City officials said the redistricting strives to reconnect neighborhoods that have been divided by police district boundaries. It will also allow police to more efficiently respond to crime, align with the city’s crime reduction plan, use law enforcement resources more efficiently, and create a more balanced workload for officers, they said.
“Balancing resources and workload across our Districts will allow us to deliver policing services more equitably and more efficiently across all of our communities,” Harrison said in a statement. “I was able to spend time in the Districts to discuss the proposed map with the community and directly hear their feedback on bringing a greater sense of inclusion in the process. I thank the Mayor and the Redistricting Team for their hard work and support on this project for which BPD has become the national model for how law enforcement agencies across the country should engage in this process.”
Under state law, the City Council must complete its review of the revised map, including any amendments, within 180 days. After that period, the proposed map will take effect if the mayor and City Council do not approve further amendments.
View the new map at baltimorepolice.org/redistricting.