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Arrests by Baltimore police continue years-long decline

When the Baltimore police union warned officers this week that if a jury in a civil lawsuit finds they acted with malice, they could be made to pay personally, some predicted police would make fewer arrests.

That would be nothing new.

Arrests by Baltimore police have been dropping every year since 2003, when Martin O’Malley was mayor. Arrests have fallen more than 77 percent since then.

The Democratic future governor instituted a “zero tolerance” policing strategy in Baltimore that he credited with reducing crime. But civil liberties groups blamed it for widening the gulf between police and the community.

In the years since, arrests have fallen as crime has increased and decreased. From 2008 to 2011, the murder rate fell as arrests declined. Since the riots of 2015, the city has suffered more than 300 homicides a year for three straight years, but arrests continued to decline.

To begin 2018, arrests are down 12 percent while violent crime is down 29 percent compared to the same period in 2017.

Here’s a look at Baltimore arrests by year, according to Maryland’s Uniform Crime Report and Baltimore’s Comstat data:

Year: Arrests / homicides

2003: 110,168 / 270

2004: 100,388 / 276

2005: 99,981 / 269

2006: 90,283 / 276

2007: 82,529 / 282

2008: 78,511 / 234

2009: 75,194 / 238

2010: 64,525 / 223

2011: 60,009 / 197

2012: 56,649 / 218

2013: 50,429 / 233

2014: 46,232 / 211

2015: 32,939 / 342

2016: 25,432 / 318

2017: 24,360 / 341

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