Unlimited Access. Try it Today! Your First 10 Days Always $0.99
News Opinion Readers Respond

Community policing can help mend city

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

  • Text NEWS to 70701 to get Baltimore Sun local news text alerts
  • Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
    Related Content
    • Police bill of rights isn't the problem
      Police bill of rights isn't the problem

      The Sun's editorial board must not have read Mark Puente's front page article regarding efforts to address police brutality that appeared one week earlier ("Weeding out 'bad cops,'" Jan. 11). As Mr. Punete notes correctly, Baltimore's police commissioners have had the legal authority to fire...

    • Unaccountable police are a threat to democracy
      Unaccountable police are a threat to democracy

      If City Solicitor George Nilson is correct in saying that the City Council can't issue a legal requirement that the police conduct themselves in a certain way, the BCPD would represent a private armed force accountable only to the mayor ("City solicitor calls police body camera bill 'illegal,'"...

    • Protesters won't march for city officer who was shot
      Protesters won't march for city officer who was shot

      Regarding the city police officer who was shot during a traffic stop, can we look forward to the Rev. Al Sharpton and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's involvement in this atrocity ("Officer shot in West Baltimore," Dec. 15)?

    • Common sense on crime and poverty
      Common sense on crime and poverty

      It was frustrating to read Dan Rodricks' point-by-point discussion of the "typical" middle-class resident's perspective on the poor ("Let's help the poor, but not too close to home," Feb. 2).

    • Low hiring standards lead to police brutality
      Low hiring standards lead to police brutality

      I've lived in and around Baltimore for all of my 73 years. My opinion on the problems with our police and fire departments lies with recruiting practices ("U.S. Dept. of Justice reveals plans to review Baltimore Police Dept.," Oct. 21). As a young man I never heard of the problems we're now...

    • Cameras on cops
      Cameras on cops

      There was no small irony in Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's veto Monday of a City Council bill that would have required city police to be equipped with body cameras. For one thing, the mayor herself has said she supports the idea of officers wearing the devices to record their...

    • Weeding out 'bad cops'
      Weeding out 'bad cops'

      Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake faces an uphill battle in this year's General Assembly when she and other officials travel to Annapolis to push for changes to a state law that restricts the power of police departments to discipline officers accused of misconduct. Yet curiously, one...

    • Black police patrol cars are in appropriate for city law enforcement
      Black police patrol cars are in appropriate for city law enforcement

      I had the pleasure this year of spending most of April through mid-October in Maine. I drove back and forth to Baltimore quite a bit, over 12,000 miles. I noticed various state patrols had switched to the black, "bad boy" cars with the new low profile light array, which seemed clever and...