Mayor Scott, Police Commissioner Announce Refocused Microzone Strategy
Wednesday Jan 27th, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BALTIMORE, MD (Wednesday, January 27, 2021) — Today, Mayor Brandon M. Scott announced a change in strategy concerning microzones, the geographies where public safety resources are focused and deployed.
This shift in strategy adjusts the number of microzones from 131 to 81, focusing on deploying city resources strategically and giving officers the ability to work more proactively in and around the zones. The remaining zones will continue to represent roughly the same proportions of crime - 30% of homicides and 45% of shootings in Baltimore City.
Today’s announcement represents the Baltimore Police Department's (BPD) portion of an overall comprehensive, coordinated public safety strategy led by the Scott Administration. The Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement, the Health Department, all City agencies, and community-based organizations will take part in this strategy and work together in service of a safer Baltimore. The new microzone strategy will be analyzed and measured as part of the regular PoliceStat meetings held by the Mayor and the CitiStat process to increase accountability to these strategies.
“BPD cannot be everywhere at once. This is about quality over quantity, and ensuring accurate, up-to-date data informs our deployment strategy,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “We want officers to prioritize historically violent areas, but also want them to have the time and flexibility to be able to address the displacement of crime and to visit areas that may be emerging as places that experience violence. Changing the reality of violence in Baltimore will require us to shift our approach so we can be more comprehensive, coordinated and strategic in the way we deploy our resources and work together.”
At the Mayor’s direction, BPD conducted an analysis of violence in the city’s existing microzones. Each zone was assessed by the Mayor and the Chief of Patrol’s office to review what, if any, environmental changes should be factored into these adjustments. This resulted in several zones being eliminated due to low incidents of crime. Other zones were combined to encourage officers to focus on overall neighborhood safety and wellness.
“We understand the need to prioritize these areas and provide quality engagement to have a true impact on crime reduction and where crime is occurring now. I want to thank Mayor Scott and his team, along with our Data Driven Strategies Division who assisted in the analysis looking at areas of high violence in our city,” said Police Commissioner Michael Harrison. “We will continue to work hand-in-hand in implementing comprehensive strategies to reduce violence by being data-driven and making adjustments to optimize our efforts in making our city safer.”
The Mayor also announced that the Baltimore Police Department Central District is moving to the old Baltimore Sun Building located at 501 N. Calvert Street. This move allows BPD to better accommodate the shift to 21st century practices, equip officers with the necessary tools and resources, and facilitate transparency and continuous improvement.
“After several years of waiting for a new district, Central District officers had their first roll call in the former Baltimore Sun Building on Monday,” continued Mayor Scott. "I want to thank the members of the Police Department including the BPD IT team, members of the central district command for their input, and in particular, our officers for their patience. I look forward to seeing the changing nature of this department.”
“Improving the working conditions for the men and women of the Baltimore Police Department has long been a priority of mine," Commissioner Harrison said. "The move into the new Central District building represents a professional work environment, a place they can now call home and a place they can take pride in.”
The Mayor and the Baltimore Police Department will hold a ribbon cutting with the community when the new Central District is open to the public.