I think I'll start a new category, and will call it my "Favorite Citizen Of The Day." It won't be hard to pick a nominee every day.
Today's winner is a woman, I didn't catch her name, but she appeared on the channel 13 news yesterday. News crews had a hard time finding a place to park their Mobile Live Local Latebreaking News Vans in her West Baltimore neighborhood, since most available parking was taken up by police cruisers responding to the 50th (fiftieth) person having been shot in Baltimore City in the last three weeks.
Now, for the benefit of our far-flung readers in Holland, England and points east, a bit of background: Baltimore City, where the stadiums are located for people to see the Orioles play baseball and the Ravens play football, and where other cultural meccas are as well (the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, where the Town Band performs) is a totally different jurisdiction from Baltimore County, the largely bucolic suburbs which engirdle the city (just not tightly enough.) The City comprises 92 square miles; the County, 682, although the populations are not that dissimilar in number (809,000 for the County, 619,000 for the City.)
OK. The City is urban, and the people are packed together, and there is so much crime down there, they celebrate a New Year's Eve in which the murder rate stays below the coveted 300-mark. I can understand all that. The more people, the more trouble. Except, I read in The New Yorker that Gotham has reduced certain levels of crime by as much as 80% since the 90's. Are people different up there? More tolerant, more forgiving? I don't get it.
Back to the woman who appeared on the news to say that "People are dropping like flies around here, and no one is doing anything about it!"
The Police Department is flooding the affected areas with cops. One block that has been the scene of several shootings has a cop - one officer - assigned to just that block 24-7 til further notice.
So yesterday, a guy two blocks over got shot down.
On the Fourth of July, wanting to avoid the carnage that has marked the past few Fireworks gatherings at the Inner Harbor area, the police cancelled leave, had all hands on duty, and called in help from the State Police, the City Sheriff's Office, and the Maryland Transportation Authority Police. That meant there were almost as many police as there were spectators for the spectacular aerial barrage, and there was no reported trouble.
It's hard to understand the mindset of the young lady who told the news camera that no one was doing anything in the City. Plenty of people are doing plenty of things. Criminals, drug dealers, and holdup crooks are out there doing their nefarious deeds, and the cops are out there catching as many of them as they can, and the judges and prosecutors are doing what they can to send the miscreants off to the Walled-Off Astoria.
I know many people who are or have been city police and they are honorable men and women, doing a fine job in the face of awful odds.
But until bad guys stop committing crimes, crime will continue to be committed. I'm sure the lady on tv is not involved in crime. We need more people like her, and then the problem will get better.