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.