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Community policing can help mend city

Anthony Batts

Baltimore City Police Commissioner Anthony Batts has myriad issues to tackle as we delve deeper into 2013. Some priorities are the open air drug markets on our streets, the vacant housing issue (which has devoured many a city rowhouse), gangs, homelessness, and finding ways to make our neighborhoods and communities safer places in which to live.

The major impediment or obstacle the commissioner is facing is the inherent mistrust of many of his constituents. For some city residents, this mindset has crossed generations. The obvious question is where to start to begin eradicating the monster, (aka the inherent mistrust that exists between the citizens and the police force). The "stop snitching' video and ensuing mentality of the non-snitchers has led to further degradation of our neighborhoods and lack of cooperation certainly increases the mistrust between the police and the community.

The only way for the police force can be an asset to a community is through cooperation of the very people it is entrusted to protect. Without that cooperation, some city neighborhoods will perish.

It is a daunting, but not impossible, task for Commissioner Batts to infuse the neighborhoods with foot patrols and police men and women on bicycles. The impediment is winning back the trust for many who have given up on the system. Prove to the various neighborhoods that the police force and it's entrusted citizenry can most assuredly coexist and offer mutual respect for one another. It seems like an unattainable goal, but a goal that has to be achieved to move forward as a learned and thriving society.

Patrick R. Lynch, Nottingham

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