Annapolis Police Chief Joseph Johnson has high praise for the Bay Ridge Gardens Resident Council Association and Management Team for working closely with the Annapolis Police Department.
"They are directly responsible for the quick arrests made in the two latest homicides in Annapolis," said the Chief.
Perhaps more interestingly, the press release goes on to characterize the general conditions of crime as it relates to public housing in the city:
"A review of recent crime statistics indicates that 4 of the 6 homicides that have occurred in the City during 2007 happened on or near public housing. Many secondary and regular duty police officers responded to these incidents. The large number of officers working in and around public housing has resulted in a decrease in violent crimes on those properties. Both the victim and the suspect the latest homicide had previously been arrested for drug offenses and were banned from public housing properties. However, criminals from those areas are spilling into surrounding areas and Bay Ridge Gardens seems to be one of the communities being affected."
It should be pointed out that of the 6 homicides, 3 occurred on or near HACA properties and 3 on or near federally subsidized housing.
So what does this mean? Well, a case alleging mismanagement by HACA would be weak, for starters. For finishers, it is important to look at the demographics. For any subsidized housing, there appears a disproportionately high amount of drug and violent crimes, and importantly, many crimes are committed by people who don't live in Annapolis.
AP has not yet been able to follow up on the recent attempts to hire more officers, but at any rate, we should still beat the drum for community patrols.