The drum beat of murders in Baltimore over the past year is heartbreaking: 150 days, 144 victims. Yet we hear little discussion and fewer ideas from the mayor, the City Council or our state legislators for how to bring the violence down. Instead, they’re debating whether to fund the Safe Streets program for $1.5 million.
Let’s look at the numbers. Taken individually, every homicide in this city is a tragedy. Taken collectively, the homicides form an alarming pattern. Baltimore is seeing one of the worst surges of violence in the United States. To put things in perspective, we have had roughly 50 percent more murders than New York City — a city 14 times as large. And the violence begets further violence: Aggravated assault, robbery and carjacking are correlated with the homicide rate and increasing sharply.