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
effecting 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