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Police and Fire News

Baltimore County Police and Fire News

Official News Blog of Baltimore County police, fire, homeland security and emergency management. Call 911 to report crimes in progress and emergencies.
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Eleven people in Baltimore County died as a result of criminal homicides during the first half of 2015 – a continuation of a downward trend in the number of criminal homicides despite a rising population.

Seven of the 11 cases have been cleared by investigators so far.

Most of Baltimore County’s violent crimes are targeted rather than random. Of the 11 criminal homicides that occurred from January 1 through June 30, 2015, five are cases in which the victim and suspect knew one another. In four cases, investigators believe it is possible that the suspect and victim knew each other. In two cases, there is no known relationship between the suspect and victim.

County Executive Kevin Kamenetz credited hard work on the part of detectives and officers for the recent success in driving down the number of homicides and in clearing these serious cases.

He noted that Baltimore County Police’s good relationship with communities plays a significant role in this success. “Chief Jim Johnson and our officers and detectives understand that the trust of our communities is critical when it comes to fighting and solving crimes. It’s the real key to public safety, and we will continue to cultivate it,” Kamenetz said.

Virtually all types of crime have declined in recent years. Part I Crime – which includes the most serious types of violent and property crime – fell by more than 13 percent from 2006 through 2014. Most notably, Part I Violent Crime – homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault – fell by 29 percent.

Homicide Statistics

From 2010 through 2013 – during the watch of the Kamenetz administration – the number of homicides was lower (94) than during any continuous four-year period since the 1970s, when the County had 200,000 fewer people than today’s population of 827,000. (The County recorded its highest four-year total for criminal homicides – 148 – during the mid-1990s.)

In 2014, 25 people died in Baltimore County as the result of criminal homicides.

Case Clearance

BCoPD’s case clearance rates – a measure of how well a police agency solves crime – historically are well above the national average for all Part I violent crimes, including homicide. In 2013, for example, Baltimore County’s case clearance rate was 100 percent, compared to a national average of 64.1 percent and a statewide average of 66 percent.

In 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice featured BCoPD in a 54-page publication on best practices for homicide clearance.

Note: The homicide information provided here may differ from official data gathered under the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting System. The FBI’s statistical program includes deaths that occur in previous years but are declared homicides in the current year. Also, the FBI may decide to include or omit certain deaths, such as the deaths of unborn children.

No unusual or problematic protest-related activity has occurred this week in Baltimore County.

"I want to assure citizens and local businesses that there is no need to curtail their daily business as a result of the ongoing unrest in Baltimore City," said Police Chief Jim Johnson. "We have experienced no unusual activity here, and there are no indications that anything unusual is planned."

Police continue to monitor social media and other sources for rumors about gatherings and other protest-related activity. The department is taking these messages seriously and has appropriate resources available for deployment, should the need for them occur. At this time, however, there are no credible threats to Baltimore County

"Our county is uneventful and safe. There is no need for businesses, schools and other institutions to disrupt normal operations," Chief Johnson said.

Continued Support for BPD

BCoPD continues to support the Baltimore City Police Department. This afternoon, BCoPD sent about 50 officers back to Baltimore to assist with protests. The same number of county officers was deployed Monday and Tuesday.

Since last weekend, BCoPD has provided backup Tactical, K-9 and Aviation support for BPD's daily calls for service. In addition, Baltimore County Police are handling duties normally handled by the Maryland State Police in Baltimore County.

The Baltimore County Fire Department also has provided support for fire suppression and medical service since last weekend, especially during the evening hours, when demand has been highest.

Booking photo of Gregory Gibson, charged with child pornography.A 63-year-old Cockeysville man who is a youth group leader at a local church has been charged with possession and distribution of hundreds of thousands of pornographic images of extremely young children.

Gregory W. Gibson, of the 10300 block of Malcolm Circle, 21030, is held at the Baltimore County Detention Center on $750,000 bail. He was arrested Thursday at his home.

Detectives in BCoPD's Crimes Against Children Unit say this is one of the most serious child pornography cases they have ever seen. Police so far have discovered about 250,000 pornographic images of extremely young, prepubescent children -- mostly girls -- on Gibson's computers and hard drives. These are disturbing images depicting child sexual abuse and explicit sex acts and erotica involving children.

Youth Group Leader

Gibson leads a youth group at the Chinese Christian Church of Baltimore, 1800 Cromwell Bridge Rd., Parkville, for children ranging in age from 9 through college age. Also, Gibson's wife has been operating an unlicensed daycare operation from the home; police have notified authorities of the illegal daycare operation.

There is no indication at this time that Gibson has abused children or used children he knows to produce pornographic material; however, the investigation remains ongoing.

The investigation began in February, when detectives identified online child pornography they traced through computer forensics to Gibson. Search and seizure warrants were executed at Gibson's home and place of employment on April 16; detectives seized computers and hard drives belonging to Gibson containing a massive amount of child pornography.

During interviews with detectives, Gibson said he struggles with his need to view child pornography and admitted to downloading and sharing child pornography.

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