The fallacy of Baltimore's 'Alphabet Soup' solution to crime

Bringing the feds in won't solve Baltimore's murder problem.

Please allow me to comment on the status of the murder spike in Baltimore. Interim Police Chief Kevin Davis has obtained intervention here by several federal agencies to help investigate open cases for 60 days. The agencies include FBI, DEA, Secret Service, U.S. Marshall's Service and more. I am summarily referring to these agencies as Alphabet Soup.

Unfortunately, I agree with those voices who see this, soup solution, as unworkable in Baltimore. The reasons follow below.

1. Cause: The sharp rise in the pace of murders began after the Baltimore riots. After Freddie Gray's funeral, many Baltimore high school students went on the rampage.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (hereafter, SRB) had previously said the city wanted to "give space" to protesters to express themselves.

Protesters did express themselves, with rocks, bottles and bricks. Police officers were hurt to the point of hospitalization.

Ultimately, the Maryland National Guard was dispersed in Baltimore. A state of emergency and a curfew was declared, for about one week.

2. Police Response: Soon after the riot, Baltimore City Police Department (BCPD) officers declared that the era of proactive policing in Baltimore is over. Proactive policing involves police officers conducting field observations of citizens on the streets; stops and frisks on the streets; developing and maintaining "tipster" relationships; acting on tips; and otherwise conducting police operations designed to stop criminal activity before it happens.

In reaction to this police-response, the murder rate exploded.

3. The Leadership Response: In response to the cessation of proactive policing, the mayor fired the police chief, declared that there is no slowdown, declared that police have to work for pay; promoted Mr. Davis; and now allowed Chief Davis to publicize the Alphabet Soup Solution, described above.

4. The Truth: Baltimore's problem is not with the processing of its existing murder or other caseload. If it is, this problem was not widely publicized prior to the Baltimore riots. Rather, Baltimore's problem is with the slowdown and the ensuing murder rate, described above.

In order to curtail the slowdown and attack the murder spike, the mayor has to meet with Baltimore Fraternal Order of Police President Gene Ryan. At this meeting, the mayor has to apologize for her riot-handling and ask the officers to go back to proactive policing.

Chief Davis has to admit that there is a slowdown and that the Alphabet Soup Solution is not a proper response to it.

The mayor has to address the citizens of Baltimore. The address has to occur on network television. In her address, Mayor SRB must call for citizen-respect to be shown to police in the performance of their duties. This citizen-respect must include but not be limited to, no citizen intervention into police-stop scenarios on the streets; no throwing of objects at police officers; and courtesy directed at police officers at the scene of all police stops.

5. Conclusion: The premise of this essay is that a solution must be aimed at the problem for success to be achieved. In the eye of this analyst, the Alphabet Soup solution is aimed, seemingly, at public consumption with the apparent goal of diverting the public from the realities of this problem.

Further, the soup solution suggests to BCPD officers that the murder spike in Baltimore can be resolved without those officers. This is akin to a married couple which believes that marital problems can be resolved by dating other people, rather than talking.

Problems cannot be resolved without talking.

It is clear that Mr. Ryan and the FOP have their own strategy in mind: a new mayor in 2016.

Hopefully, Mayor SRB can properly address this problem before the election of 2016 addresses her.

People are dying.

Roland N. Patterson Jr.

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