It is a common argument in communities across America that the local police force isn’t doing enough to stop drug users or to crack down on violent crime. As a response to these complaints, police forces often launch new initiatives or campaigns, changing their tactics in hopes of affecting improvements. Sometimes, these tactics work. Other times, they fail.
Here in Baltimore, the local police chief recently announced a new plan to crack down on violent crimes, gangs and gun use in the city. He also said he plans to target the environment that allows these crimes to proliferate.
In particular, the plan will include larger investigative units, additional plainclothes officers and homicide detectives who are assigned to specific neighborhoods. Under the police chief’s plan, officers will also wear small cameras attached to their bodies, a measure which will hopefully add transparency and clarity to accusations made by officers who make their arrests outside of the view of a dashboard camera.
The trade-off to this plan, according to the police chief, is that fewer officers will be sent to investigate non-emergency calls. This should allow more officers to be more proactive on the streets of Baltimore.
Of course, whenever a new police procedure is enacted, it is the duty of the courts to examine whether it violates the defendant’s rights. Often, when a police action is found to have worked against the rights of the accused, either through wrongful arrest, wrongful search and seizure or any other improper action, it can have an enormous effect on the case at hand.
The Pittsburgh Courier, “Baltimore street violence reduction at core of 5-year anti-crime strategy” Blair Adams, Nov. 25, 2013