Baltimore County homicide rate down
Baltimore County homicides decreased more than 20 percent in 2012, from an average of 29 to 23, according to a press release from the Baltimore County Police Department.
Cpl. Cathy Batton, a spokeswoman for the police department, said more thorough investigations resulted in the reduction.
“In Baltimore County, many of our murders are committed by people known to the victims,” Batton said in an email. “In an attempt to reduce domestic-related murders, we have developed and implemented an award-winning lethality screening program to link domestic violence victims to resources directly from the initial call for service.”
Senior Andrew Michaels said though the drop in homicide rates is positive, he hopes they improve.
“When looking at the numbers, the decline in homicides prove to be comforting to many people,” he said. “Personally, I would feel more at ease should the rate continue to decline in the future. Although 23 is still quite high, the drop in numbers does give me some relief.”
Senior Adrienne Luciano said she is more skeptical.
“I feel that [the drop in numbers] doesn’t make much of a difference,” she said. “The only way these dropping numbers mean anything is if they keep dropping at a consistent rate.”
Luciano said the numbers could drop consistently with some work on part of BCPD.
“[They could] only if there was more community outreach and development in areas that have had the steady homicide rates,” she said.
The press release also reported that the homicide clearance rate in Baltimore County is close to 90 percent, 20 percent higher than the national average.
“Without a doubt, our clearance rate is the result of the dedicated and exceptional detectives assigned to the Homicide Unit,” Batton said. “They are absolutely relentless, and will leave no leads unchecked during their investigations. The detectives also have the strong support of our forensics and criminal analysis units.”
Batton said the future of these numbers may vary
“We expect that our yearly homicide numbers will vary within a certain range, which is why we look not only year-to-year but compare our numbers to a five-year average,” she said. “We do anticipate that our commitment to taking violent offenders off the streets will have an ongoing impact on reducing murders and violent crime in Baltimore County.”