Recapping a Crime and Safety Discussion with Major Ward and Councilman Costello

| July 13, 2017 | 0 Comments

At Tuesday’s South Baltimore Neighborhood Association (SBNA) meeting, Baltimore Police Southern District Commander Major Steven Ward and Councilman Eric Costello led a discussion on crime and safety in South Baltimore and around the City. Here’s a recap of that discussion:

– A non-fatal shooting occurred last Saturday on the 1400 block of Olive St. in South Baltimore. According to Major Ward, the shooting was a personal matter between two individuals and the suspect has been charged and arrested.  (Our article here)

– There are currently no suspects in the 1400 William St. bat attack as there are no witnesses or surveillance at this time.  (Our article here)

– The Southern District has placed officers in coordinated spaces throughout South Baltimore at night to address a rise in robberies at the beginning of the summer, which has since slowed according to Major Ward. This put the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) in a strategic position to arrest four juveniles committing two robberies last week.  (Our article here) There has been a reduction in Part 1 crime despite high-profile incidents. 

– Juveniles committing crimes has been a big problem in the area and in the City this summer with a large rise in female suspects, according to Major Ward. He stated the suspects know they will face few consequences for their actions and judges often let them off the hook. He also noted the Riverside Pool has brought many juveniles to the area and some travel in large groups looking for trouble. 

– In response to sometimes delayed 911 responses, Major Ward said they are averaging 333 calls to 911 a day in the Southern District. He said to bring any unsatisfactory responses to his attention and to contact him directly with evidence of an incident. He said the Southern District is doing their best to give each case the attention it deserves. 

– Councilman Costello noted that the department is still down 450 officers and, while recruitment has picked up, there is still much attrition. Much of the Southern District’s time and resources are spent in Brooklyn and Curtis Bay. He said that shootings have calmed down in these areas, but drug activity is still problematic. 

– In regards to rising violent crime around the City, Major Ward and Councilman Costello put a big focus on the decisions of judges in the City. Major Ward said that 60% of suspects with gun charges are given suspended sentences, meaning no jail time. Both said to keep this in mind when voting and look up the records of judges on violent crime. Major Ward and Councilman Costello said that they, along with Mayor Pugh, are hoping the State approves mandatory sentencing for illegal gun convictions. 

– Major Ward said he appreciates receiving all the surveillance videos and evidence from the community. The Southern District monitors the SBNA Facebook page, many of the tips from it have led to recent arrests. 

– Councilman Costello noted that BPD is doing an incredible job right now with the resources it has and needs the continued support of the community.

Major Steven Ward

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Creator of SouthBmore.com and resident of SoBo. Graduate of Towson University and owner of Incept Multimedia, a full service video production company. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, beach volleyball enthusiast, dog lover and "bar food" foodie. Email me at Kevin@InceptMM.com and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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