Reporting Meghan McCorkell
BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Danger at the Inner Harbor. Another lawmaker calls for more police to patrol the hottest tourist spot in the city.
Meghan McCorkell has more on the city’s response.
One state senator is now calling for Maryland State Police to patrol this area alongside Baltimore City police. But city officials say the Inner Harbor is already safer.
A vicious beating on Saint Patrick’s Day. A mob of teens fighting. A 7-Eleven looted. Senator Jim Brochin says these high-profile crimes show a need for Maryland State Police patrols at the Inner Harbor.
“People don’t want to go downtown because they don’t feel safe,” he said.
Brochin echoes conservative radio host, Del. Pat McDonough– who’s called the harbor a “no travel zone.”
“I think the city police need help. I think they’re stretched too thin,” Brochin said.
The mayor says that’s not true.
“Crime is down. We’re much safer in that district, in the central district than we were last year, and we’ll continue to trend downward,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
Crime near the Inner Harbor is down 6 percent, with violent crime down 14 percent.
“Anyone that’s questioning the progress that the Baltimore Police Department is making really needs to take a look at the facts,” said Anthony Guglielmi, city police spokesman.
State police say they are already a part of city security, helping with large-scale events like New Year’s, Fourth of July and next week’s Sailabration.
Visitors tell WJZ they feel safe.
“I’ve seen cops on bicycles and the helicopters in the air. No problem,” said Jim McCreath, who’s visiting from Connecticut.
“City police, they’re good enough. There’s too many of them as it is. We don’t need no state police,” said Kim Paige, East Baltimore resident.
The next big test is the Sailabration, a bicentennial celebration of the War of 1812, which is expected to bring thousands to the Inner Harbor next week.
In response to some of those high-profile crimes, city police have put 50 more officers on the streets and upgraded their security cameras around the Inner Harbor.
State police will have uniformed officers on the ground for the Sailabration.
They also have warrant and gun task forces in the city.