O'Malley cited that raid — "that was not a positive experience in the cause of greater cooperation," he said — as one of the reasons why troopers weren't more involved in the city during his tenure.
In 2003, Norris wrote to city police offering "immediate help" from state police but asking that troopers be granted full police authority in Baltimore. "The police presence in the city would immediately increase by 5 percent, due to the number of troopers who live there," he wrote.
Baltimore police didn't want troopers there without supervision, and troopers didn't want to come in with limited power, according to a report in the Baltimore Examiner during the 2006 gubernatorial campaign.
The issue became a subject of debate during the campaign, in which O'Malley was challenging incumbent Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.
"We would have welcomed the help, provided it was given in a supportive role that is being given today — under the guidance of local law enforcement," O'Malley said.
On a recent Friday night, McAndrew said he rode around the city with Maj. Dennis Smith, the commander of the Baltimore Police Department's Central District. They responded to a shooting scene in the 1900 block of Park Ave., and made a drug arrest later in the evening, he said.
The following night, there was a major police presence around Pennsylvania Avenue, where there has been recent violence. A state police car, with a city officer seated in the passenger seat, idled in the parking lot next to the Avenue Market. Not far away, a Maryland Transportation Authority car sat near a subway station and city officers had cars pulled over up and down Pennsylvania Avenue.
The state police complement is not large, only about eight to 10 officers. They've assisted city police with 90 calls for service and 20 arrests, made 74 traffic stops and conducted 23 field interviews on two recent weekends, records show. They have also recovered three stolen vehicles.
Norris said troopers "get a great education working in Baltimore. What they learn in a year takes 20 years to get somewhere else."
McAndrew said the partnership is a natural fit. "One of the main duties of the state police is to cooperate and coordinate with other law enforcement agencies. We go where the crime fight is needed most," he said.
Del. Keiffer Mitchell, a Baltimore Democrat, said he supports the partnership. "Anything we can do to reduce crime," Mitchell said. "As long as the city is calling the shots."
In 2002, a bill permitting state troopers to work in the city without an agreement with local police passed the House of Delegates but died in the Senate. An analysis of that bill noted a similar measure had failed in committee in 1996.
More recently, in 2007, with the murder rate rising, then-Mayor Sheila Dixon and Commissioner Leonard Hamm announced that Maryland Transportation Authority police would help with traffic patrols in the city, such as the portion of Interstate 295 that is in Baltimore.
But state police weren't a part of that initiative. "If it's really serious, then their people should jump into cars with our people, then we could always have two-officer police cars," Paul Blair, then the city police union president, said at the time.
That's what's taking place now, and McAndrew says there are no plans to end the deployment. "As long as Commissioner Batts wants us down there, we're going to be helping," he said. "I can tell you that in the particular zones where we've been working, there's been no violent crime."