xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Crime decreases in Howard in 2020, annual report shows; number of offenses down 16%

Crime in Howard County on the whole was down in 2020, according to the Howard County Police Department’s annual report.

The report, which includes letters from Police Chief Lisa Myers and County Executive Calvin Ball, acknowledges the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Advertisement

“This past year brought unexpected challenges on many fronts,” Myers wrote. “The global COVID-19 pandemic changed nearly all aspects of our lives: how most people make a living, the way our children learn, how we socialize, even the way we’re able to mourn. It certainly changed some aspects of police work.”

Myers also acknowledged the effects of Black Lives Matter protests on policing in Howard, especially following the murder of George Floyd in May 2020 by a Minneapolis police officer.

Advertisement
Advertisement

“In our ongoing commitment to police-community relations and transparency, the department compiled answers to frequently asked questions on topics of interest to our community and posted them on social media and our website,” she wrote. “We covered use of force, confirming that chokeholds are not permitted [by Howard officers]; accountability and transparency; education and training; and community outreach and involvement.”

In light of the pandemic, officers were tasked with enforcing state and county executive order violations. There were a total of 547 calls for reported executive order violations; 127 were deemed actual violations of either a business requirement, large gathering limitation or mask-wearing requirement.

The report said the crime rate in Howard, recorded as crimes per 100,000 residents, is below the statewide average. Violent crimes are less than half the statewide rate, according to the report.

Offenses reported in 2020 totaled 11,389, down from 2019 which saw 13,561 offenses, the report shows.

Advertisement

Last year the county recorded seven murders compared with eight in 2019.

Of the 24 categories of offenses, 20 saw a decrease from 2019. Most notably the number of driving while intoxicated offenses decreased from 654 in 2019 to 333 in 2020 and theft offenses were down from 3,613 in 2019 to 2,990 in 2020.

The four categories that increased in offenses from 2019 to 2020 were weapons violations, forgery/counterfeiting, arson and other offenses outside of the 24 categories.

Arrests of both adults and juveniles were down from 2019 as well. In 2019, the department had 2,777 adult arrests and 632 juvenile arrests compared with 1,726 and 332, respectively, in 2020.

Internally, police saw conduct complaints in four categories in 2020: two internal complaints of conformance to policy; one citizen and four internal complaints of improper conduct; three citizen complaints of rudeness; and one internal complaint of truthfulness.

In performance complaints, the department saw four citizen and one internal complaint of use of force, as well as 10 internal complaints of work performance.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement