BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Baltimore City Police Commissioner Kevin Davis says he’s concentrating on stopping crimes before the bloodshed.
More than 900 people were shot in the streets of Baltimore in 2016. Now, heading into the new year, police officials are facing new challenges as they focus on the crime fight.
This is the second year in a row Baltimore has topped 300 homicides. With days left in 2016, 316 people have been murdered in Baltimore, with another 658 shot.
“300 homicides is not where Baltimore deserves to be,” said Davis.
Davis tells WJZ many of those murders are part of a cycle of retaliation.
“Well over half of our homicides are considered head shot, up close and personal executions. Those are planned events. That’s a premeditated act of murder,” he said.
A recent Baltimore Sun investigation found Baltimore, along with Washington D.C. and New Orleans to be among the most lethal cities in the country. With one in every three shooting victims dying. The commissioner says in 2017 his department will utilize technology to focus on violent repeat offenders.
“They’re a vulnerable group of people that are just as likely to pull a trigger as they are to be in the receiving end of a round,” said Davis.
As policing tactics change, so do the type of guns found here on the streets. While gun arrests are up, the weapons are higher caliber with larger magazines, making them even more deadly.
Still Davis says he’s determined to get the weapons and the gunmen off the streets.
“We have a hyper focus in 2017 to get us to a better place come this time next year.”
So the number of lives lost goes down significantly.
Five years ago, the City had less than 200 homicides. Davis says the real test is being able to sustain those lower numbers.
The City police department underwent a 14-month long Department of Justice investigation in 2016. They are currently negotiating a consent decree.