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City needs more police on the streets, not fewer

My wife and I moved to Hampden many years ago (and met here). We are investing in our home because we see improvement. Community crime reporting has helped our neighborhood. Having our city police pursue crimes here has had an impact. Petty crimes often are neglected, but we feel safer. We remain vigilant — crime can occur anywhere. That Johns Hopkins University wants to have the ability to augment our overstretched city police force and attempt to ensure employees, students and residents of areas where they have oversight is, in my humble opinion, a great thing (“Hopkins president set out to garner community support for a university police force,” Dec. 8). Hopkins obviously has research facilities and some of the brightest minds in the world come here to study and support our country. We and the nation need to protect that resource from serious and even petty crime. It should be a matter of pride that we are chipping away at crime opportunities. This is about prevention.

The idea that they should not have enforcement capability because it will push crime elsewhere is infuriating. So, good people should do nothing and tolerate crime? We should all step up our game and be involved in making our communities safe. Crime is multi-faceted problem, but looking the other way is not a correct response in any neighborhood. The notion that every single criminal is going to simply wander away and do their business the next community over is absurd. There will just be fewer opportunities to commit crime, and I truly believe there will be reductions as a whole as the chances of getting caught rise.

We all need more policing, not less. And if a large institution is willing to take on that burden from taxpayers, I’m all for it. Those caught committing crimes will be turned over to the judicial system. Any problems will be reported with the help of the media and addressed by concerned people as was the case when they began the effort to create a trained police force. Likely, they will also find ways to police better, given the scrutiny they will face. But we should never allow crime to fester and do nothing — or walk away from a chance to make Baltimore incrementally safer.

Mike Drinks, Baltimore

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