Does Mr. Davis deserve the title? The jury is out. There have been some hopeful signs in recent weeks, such as the federal charges announced last week against 14 men arrested with illegal guns, but the toll of violence continues. The mayor may be impressed with the "energy" that Mr. Davis has brought to the job and with the associated increase in police activity, as a Rawlings-Blake spokesman said, but it would appear to be too early to judge his efforts a success. Mr. Davis took over the department on July 8 — 68 days before Ms. Rawlings-Blake would propose giving him the title of permanent chief. During that time, the city experienced 79 homicides. That's about the same pace as during the comparable span between the start of the post-Freddie Gray violence and Mr. Batts' firing. The 34 homicides Baltimore saw in August, though better than July's 45, were still a level of violence the city hadn't previously seen since 2007. After a deadly weekend, in which three were killed and several injured, including a 9-year-old girl, the city is on pace for 26 homicides in September.