It remains to be seen whether Baltimore can finish 2011 with less than 200 homicides — something that has happened just twice in the past 41 years. But either way, gun violence has been on a remarkable downward trend in the past four years, and with that has come a stark reduction in the number of arrests as the city continues to make a pronounced shift away from earlier zero tolerance policies. One of the arguments against zero tolerance noted the number of arrests discarded by prosecutors, with a larger number of people being arrested only to be released without charges. In July, the Sun reported that the number of cases tossed by prosecutors had plummeted some 70 percent, with just 8 percent of cases dropped, which officials say indicates police are making higher-quality arrests. Meanwhile, city police are on track to arrest about 50,000 people, down from a recent high of 98,000 in 2005.
Baltimore Sun photo by Kim Hairston