BALTIMORE (WJZ)— Baltimore City is on track for a record-low number of murders at 196 for the year. But police have also seen their share of scandal in 2011.

Mike Hellgren goes one-on-one with Commissioner Fred Bealefeld on the highs and lows.

Crime is always a hot topic in Baltimore. And the commissioner told WJZ he’s still in the fight with no plans to step down.

“This is what I do and I still love doing it.”

The year 2011 saw several of his officers in trouble for a towing scam that preyed on the public.

“We’re quite astounded that it was such a large network,” Paula Protani, a whistleblower, said.

The commissioner says more corruption cases are being brought because his department is doing a better job of policing itself.

“This department has very clearly demonstrated our personal willingness to ferret these guys out,” he said.

The department also changed the way it responds to incidents– after the death of an officer outside a club and revamped the way rape cases are reported.

One big success, the number of murders in Baltimore is down significantly from last year, continuing a trend.

“In 2011, we’ve done. what nobody thought could be done in this city,” Bealefeld said.

He saw success with the evacuation of Occupy protestors, too– no arrests, no riots.

But there was heartbreak…

“My little girl’s not gonna have a dad.”

The killing of a father at the Inner Harbor during the Fourth of July fireworks, and the discovery of teenager Phylicia Barnes’ dead after exhaustive searches.

“We just want this person brought to justice,” Russell Barnes, Phylicia Barnes’ father, said.

For all that’s happened, police have one goal in mind for the future.

“Until people can look out their window from the place they live and feel that sense of security, we haven’t gotten the job done,” he said.

The commissioner said the number of murders is at its lowest level since the 1970s.

Comments (5)
  1. PEACE says:

    one murder is one too many. It would be nice not to have any murders in 2012. Just a thought.

  2. sammy says:

    Ready Freddie is an inept commissioner & could do more to clean up the black thug trash in Bloodmore. 82% of all murders last year were black on black crime. Outlaw guns completely, a minimum of 5 years in prison for having an unregistered gun. Do get tough like N.Y. where the ratio of murder per population is five times lower than Balto’s.

  3. Happy1 says:

    Sammy is a idiot and a racist! Does the police commissioner have the ability to make the laws? No

  4. Liz Hanson says:

    I want to see all of the crime stats. All a lower murder rate means is that the medical professionals at shock trauma are doing a marvelous job of patching up the victims. How many total people were shot, stabbed, etc., and survived?

  5. DaddyTabernacle says:

    I don’t believe it… I don’t mean to be a pessimist but I just don’t believe it… When someone is stabbed and stays in the hospital for a week then dies… do they consider that a murder? i just don’t believe FB3(commissioner).

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