Baltimore County Now
by Police Chief James Johnson
Statistics for the first half of 2012 show crime in each of the County’s 10 precincts trending downward.
Data provided by our Crime Analysis Unit show that Part I crimes – the most serious crimes – decreased by 8.6 percent during the first six months of this year compared to the previous five-year average for the same time period. Total crime – Part I and Part II – declined by 5.4 percent from the previous five-year average.
Before we get into the details, a word about how we look at crime statistics in Baltimore County: In 2011, we began comparing current crime data against the previous five-year average rather than against the previous year. In any given year, a host of factors – weather is one of the most significant – may cause crime to spike up or down. Such short-term comparisons often do not provide a true picture of local crime. I believe we should focus on trends, on whether crime is rising or falling over the longer term.
In the first six months of 2012, Part I violent crime decreased by 348 cases from the previous five-year average for the same period. There were 1,942 violent crimes in the first six months of the year, down from the previous five-year average of 2,290.
Part I property crime decreased by 898 cases; there were 11,268 Part I property crimes from January through June, compared to 12,166 for the previous five-year average. That is a 7.4 percent decrease from the previous five-year average.
Rape, which increased by nine cases, from 71 to 80, is the only category of Part I violent crime that exceeded the previous five-year average during the first six months of the year. The other types of violent crime all dropped:
- Homicide decreased by five cases, from 15 to 10
- Robbery decreased by 88 cases, from 726 to 638
- Aggravated assault decreased by 264 cases, from 1,478 to 1,214
All categories of Part I property crime compared favorably to the previous five-year average:
- Burglary decreased by 70 cases, from 2,033 to 1,963.
- Theft decreased by 356 cases, from 8,823 to 8,467.
- Motor vehicle theft decreased by 446 cases, from 1,172 to 726.
- Arson decreased by 26 cases, from 138 to 112.
Total Part I crime – violent crime and property crime – for the first six months of 2012 decreased by 1,246 cases, from 14,456 to 13,210, when compared to the previous five-year average.
Part II crime also declined during the first half of the year. Part II crime includes simple assaults, sex offenses, drug violations, vandalism and many other crimes. During the first half of 2012, Part II crime declined by 509 cases, from 17,862 to 17,353.
In addition, our clearance rates for Part I crime continue to exceed the national average as determined by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting System. This means we are solving crimes and getting criminals off the street.
I am always cautiously optimistic when providing positive crime news such as this.
Optimistic, because we know we truly are making Baltimore County safer when data over a five-year period shows declines in almost every category of crime. Cautious, because human nature cannot be controlled.
We have an extraordinary team of personnel committed to public safety. We are focused on crime prevention and reduction, using technology and partnerships to continue the great crime reductions we have experienced over the last several years.
As always, we will look closely at the next set of crime statistics to see if the downward trend holds. The never-ending work of determining the best strategies to keep Baltimore County safe continues.
Contributed by Kevin Kamenetz
Baltimore County Executive
Let’s face it. No one likes the holiday hassle of driving around for a parking space, then hauling packages across a huge parking lot. Baltimore County’s holiday gift to harried shoppers is 1,735 free parking spaces during some of the busiest shopping days of the season. Every one of these free parking spaces is near great locally owned shops and restaurants.
Shoppers get two hours of free parking over Thanksgiving weekend, November 22-25, and December 20-25. Just look for the meters decorated with red “free parking” bags in Catonsville, Towson, Parkville, Essex, Pikesville, Arbutus, Stoneleigh, and Dundalk.
Find unique gifts and services, support your local store owners, and do your part to keep the neighborhood economy going strong.
Check out our holiday parking — then get up, get out and shop local!
Ifenanya Agwu, Baltimore County Office of Communications – Student Intern
12th Grade, Towson High School Law and Public Policy Program
As the leaves are blowing about the crisp fall air and the Halloween decorations have all been put away, the question on my mind is—when is it going to be Thanksgiving time already? Thanksgiving is that time when I can eat as much of the mouth-watering food my mother and other family members prepare, without judgment. Thanksgiving is that time when I see those family members who I rarely see throughout the year so the catching up we have to do is chaotic yet fun. Thanksgiving is that time when my father invites entirely too many of his friends to come over and join in the festivities, but its perfectly okay. Why? Because it is Thanksgiving and it’s the time to spend with family and friends.
Thanksgiving is by far one of my favorite holidays. Between the great food, the warm family gatherings, and all of the opportunities around to help a person or family in need, Thanksgiving offers a lot and truly brings out the spirit of giving in many people.
Baltimore County definitely is not lacking in the opportunities to give back during the Thanksgiving season. An excellent way to lend a helping hand is through the “Harvest of Plenty” sponsored by the United Way of Central Maryland (UWCM).
UWCM’s 20th Annual “Harvest of Plenty” is a meal program that provides a Thanksgiving meal for families who might otherwise go without one. In 2011, the program supplied more than 2,500 meals and hopes to supply at least 3,000 meals this Thanksgiving. UWCM offers an inexpensive, yet profound means for people to assist with their cause ? a donation of just $12 can provide a full Thanksgiving meal for a family of six.
So while you’re at the dinner table thinking of what you are thankful for this Thanksgiving, imagine what it would be like to have a Thanksgiving without that meal. Then think about the families who would be thankful for your donation towards their Thanksgiving meal.