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Was Batts the right choice? [Letter]

As a resident of Baltimore, I was pleased to hear that state legislators are demanding an explanation and response from Police Commissioner Anthony Batts regarding the spike in crime and violence in the city ("Senators press Batts on city crime," Feb. 7).

However, though Commissioner Batts did provide some positive results — for example, a 20 percent decline in car thefts — he missed the interpretation of a very significant piece of data.

Mr. Batts stated that violent crimes are down 34 percent over the previous year, yet as of Feb. 6, there have been 29 homicides, compared to 19 by the same time last year.

It is troubling that Mr. Batts is seemingly fixed on numbers and fails to recognize that homicides are violent crimes and that therefore his positive spin on the homicide rate is insensitive, inaccurate and does nothing to provide a clear plan of action.

Martha Lappe, Baltimore

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