Monday, April 27, 2009

Thoughts and observations about crime and security around Town

Just a few thoughts related to recent meanderings around Baltimore and notions of crime, security, and safety:
  • Buz likes to eat at the Subway sandwich shop on Falls Road, near 37th Street, sitting by one of the windows looking out onto the street in beautiful downtown Hampden, hon. And we saw Hampden's version of Citizens On Patrol. Only it was JOP: Junkies on Patrol! Up and down, back and forth; wandering aimlessly all day long, some of the gals looking longingly at guys in passing cars. 
  • Before I went into the shop a guy stopped before entering, and went "putoooo", as he spit on the sidewalk in front of and before he went into a food store. Nice. But as I was sitting in there eating, watching the JOPs, a guy in a big pickup swung his head out his window, and went "plottch", as a big gob of spit went flying out into the street. Um, public health, anyone? As the swine flu starts to hit bigger, many people will whine and complain, but simple measures like not spitting on a public street will go a long way toward slowing the spread. Baltimore was once one of the hardest hit cities by the spread of tuberculosis, and outlawed spitting on the sidewalks with a city ordinance because of this. Needless to say, ignorance is bliss, and one can see a lot of spitting almost everywhere you look. Like, why? Kinda holding onto that tough guy image, I guess. And since a large number of folks in Bmore never finished high school, they didn't learn much about health and stuff like that.
  • Your consultant ran into an officer who used to work for him in Northwest a few years back. He said that the Inner Harbor areas are, as John reported to us, staffed with lots of recent academy graduates, as well as cops detailed from the Tactical Section and other places. He and I also expressed amusement that the Pimlico race course in trying to market the infield as a "family event" this year. You gotta be kidding!
  • At this writing, haven't heard much about the reported stabbing and kid/gang fights going on around the Inner Harbor over the weekend; it really hurts when the Sun has no staff working over the weekends because of Wall Street.
  • Buz noticed that Pimlico's infield security staff last year didn't seem to really have control of some situations, and didn't really want to get into it with some of these muscular drunks out there fighting, "playing", wrestling, etc. He was told that they had gotten a black eye for some of the action nationally posted on YouTube. It's really hard to believe that Pimlico's insurance company didn't have something to do with the new rule: no outside liquor allowed to be brought in. And in a city with such huge substance abuse issues, it's hard to believe the amount of publicity given to guzzling booze, drunkenness, and general irresponsibility which goes on and has gone on for years in the Infield. At least the city police aren't providing hundreds of officers (some of whom get hurt) to enable this "party".
  • We noticed that Holly G in Mount Washington had a security "riot screen" barrier in addition to wire mesh installed in one of their doors. Guess the window smashers were out that way too.
  • Recently Grind-On Cafe had its window smashed and lost substantial stuff of value, also.
But, of course, since crime is "down", we don't have to worry about any of that.

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