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baltimoresun.com

Baltimore needs foot patrols

2:15 PM EDT, May 29, 2013

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Baltimore City Police Commissioner Anthony Batts is a bright and dedicated public servant. Here's the rub: He could be the most competent police commissioner Baltimore has ever seen but that would not be enough to transform the city into a model metropolis.

First, he needs the commitment of those who serve him. The battered Baltimore police force has been through the emotional wringer the past few years. It is of utmost importance that they believe in the changes Mr. Batts wants to implement. Otherwise, the blueprint is a waste.

Second, for the city inhabitants who still believe in the street mantra "stop snitching," those very neighborhoods will never evolve into better places in which to live. Withholding pertinent information from police for fear of reprisals has to be surmounted. Don't the non-snitches understand that with the mindset they possess, their neighborhoods will eventually falter?

Third, police presence on the streets, sans patrol cars, is of utmost importance. Leave the horses at the stall and the bicycles in the bike rack. For Mr. Batts, it is incumbent that his foot patrols get to know the citizens they protect and serve. Blue-uniformed police men and women should be visible in every neighborhood.

These issues are seemingly impossible tasks to implement, but the state of the city is dependent on them to make Baltimore a pertinent and lasting American city.

Patrick R. Lynch, Nottingham