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News Opinion Readers Respond

Basics of a successful crime-fighting strategy [Letter]

After reading your article about Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts' visit to Chicago to observe its crime-fighting strategy, I could only ask: "Are you kidding me?" ("Baltimore Police look to Chicago for crime-fighting insight," March 19).

In many ways Chicago has more of a crime problem than we do, and it is no more effective at improving it. Baltimore's mayor and police commissioner should look at cities that have turned their crime problems around or have consistently low crime rates.

No doubt reporter Justin Fenton worked hard to produce the article, but it came across to me as more an educational piece to show how police departments conceptualize ways to manage bad crime statistics.

I would suggest a more basic approach consisting of good policing, removing the bad guys from the streets and earnestly protecting citizens. Crime and justice should not come across as a Monopoly game with endless "get out of jail free" cards and no jails on the board.

Baltimore's crime can only be solved through a holistic approach: Proving to communities that police care more about them than about writing reports, letting residents know their responsibilities to each other and to society as a whole, keeping the bad guys from inflicting further damage, punishing them for their crimes and then working to help them turn their lives around.

Michael W. Kohlman, Baltimore

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