Saturday, June 28, 2008

Crime/Security "discoveries" for the week

Buz realized that there was a whole of crime and security stuff going on in Bmore this week, but he has learned a couple of things and thought about some more things:
  • I ran into a robbery detective and asked about the investigation of the holdup of the Wine Underground a few weeks ago. He said he didn't know anything; that "Citywide Robbery" unit was handling it. Oh, well, like, don't they tell you anything? Nope. Your consultant was not comforted to learn that the citywide robbery detectives don't ask anything of or tell anything to the district robbery detectives. Buz has never liked this strange breakdown of authority, wherein the detectives are physically housed in district station houses but report to bosses downtown--not to the district commander, who is allegedly responsible for crime in his/her (I don't think there's any "her" district commanders) district. Now we find out that they aren't even talking to each other!
  • It looks like the State Prosecutor is trying to get Dixon on the same kind of stuff the feds got Norris on. 
  • Buz has learned that a yoga studio was broken into in April. Since the initial report and smearing of fingerprint dust, there has been no followup by detectives. Your consultant wonders if there is a citywide unit which handles commercial burglaries and doesn't talk to the district unit which handles residential burglaries. I sometimes think that burglary is almost decriminalized in Baltimore anyway. If patrol officers don't catch 'em right away, they're probably not going to get caught.
  • Dirty little secret: patrol officers make the overwhelming number of arrests for serious crimes like burglary and robbery. Detectives do all the followup stuff. Hence, the resentment that patrol officers sometimes feel toward their plainclothes brethren.
  • Buz took a trip down to the Avenue early yesterday evening to Grano, the new pasta place (great place). The street was lined with thugs and junkies. One group looked like a scene from a George Romero movie. The other group, heavily muscled and thug-like, long white, dirty t-shirts, sweaty, and scary-looking were just hanging around. They weren't bothering anybody--but it was early yet, and they hadn't enough to drink. Both groups were blending in with the smokers of Zissimos bar. Both noticed the marked police car coming down 36th Street with 4 plainclothes "knockers" in it.
  • Now, we know the merchants were upset when police used poor discretion in moving smokers along after the new law was passed, and they complained to the District Commander, and he said that that was a tough officer assigned usually to Park Heights, and he didn't know how not to enforce the law around white people, so they moved him back to Park Height so he could be mean--or something like that. Well, Buz looked at this crew and thought: you know, they really can't be good for business hanging around like that. But: Hampden merchants: good luck getting the cops to move loiterers now.
  • Differential law enforcement? Hmmmmmmm.
  • Betcha here's why Federal Hill curfew wasn't being enforced: 5 years ago: Sir, the park is closed, you'll have to leave. "What! I pay a lot of taxes! You can't tell me what to do! I live here! What's your name! Who's your supervisor?"     Later: Sergeant to Officer: what the fuck are you doing? Leave those rich people alone. Ain't you got nothing better to do? You go over west of Hanover Street and shake down some of those mf's with reefer.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Crime and Security in Baltimore: random thoughts

A lot of crime and security stuff going on in good ole Baltimore:
  • Two people murdered in Federal Hill in two days. The neighbors are upset! One woman gave the reasons for concern as: this is the "high rent district", we have the Ritz and the new Silo condos, Jenna Bush, etc. In other words, this is unacceptable. Yes, it was a rough weekend in Fed Hill, but the community association Prez, Paul Robinson, kinda summed it up: they're just not immune to the problems occurring in other parts of the city, and the community needs to come together to support the city and the police.
  • Buz wonders if the thugs are engaging in some sense of eco-sensitivity by not driving all the way out to Leakin Park to drop off their dead. Or could it be the price of gas? Dirty little secret: Federal Hill is very close to high crime areas, Hanover Street is sort of the DMZ. One poster on Sunspot said heavy drug activity emanates from a Section 8 property at William and Warren. Dunno. I didn't see any last time I was in the area, but haven't been in the early morning hours for a while (barhopping is often past your consultant's bedtime at this time).
  • I'm sure these two cases are "Red Balls" on the board down at Homicide at 601.
  • Speaking of Homicide, there is an ad on Craigslist business jobs for the Commanding Officer Homicide Section, Baltimore Police. I am not making this up. It was posted June 9th. Perhaps one of my readers or Baltimore Crime readers or John Galt might apply.
  • Members of campus law enforcement officers have spent all this money on emergency notification systems since V-Tech, but are still puzzling over how and when and who decides to use them. They're great for warning the student body of impeding thunder storms!