Now that violent crimes are starting to make their way into the rich, white neighborhoods, city officials appear to be serious about addressing the problem.
Following assaults and robberies in Eastport and downtown, many alderman have publicized their belief that the vacant positions on the police department need to be filled, a fact that is obvious to most of us and disputed by the mayor and the police chief. Some of what they have been saying:
There are stepped-up efforts in downtown and Eastport, but I'm still convinced we need more police officers on the street per shift. We really need to fill out the ranks of the police. DAVE CORDLE, WARD 5
I'm very convinced we need to fill all the vacant positions in the city cops. We need to give them a little more power in recruiting and get affordable housing for police. SAM SHROPSHIRE, WARD 7
She (Classie Hoyle, Ward 7) also wants to focus attention on enforcing the laws against dark-tinted windows on vehicles. "I think that adds to criminal activity within these cars", she said.
Some other quotes were attributed to Alderwoman Hoyle, but I got a kick out of that one.
It's a matter of getting it out in front of people so the bad guys know Annapolis is paying attention and there is a higher likelihood of being caught than in the past. ROSS ARNETT, WARD 8
It's sad that it has taken this long to act! Violent crimes happen every day--I have the police reports to prove it. Why has it taken this long to fill the police vacancies? Because now the crimes are happening in the tourist areas and not just the housing projects?
The city is offering the entrance exam for new officers for the first time in a year. That's a start. Couple that with the authority to proactively prevent crime, and you've got yourself a safer city.