On April 21, the Baltimore Police Department submitted a written request to the city’s spending panel that asked for $2.2 million to fund various law enforcement initiatives. The Board of Estimates will scrutinize the proposal, and it is possible that changes might be made before it is fully implemented. Even so, police requests carry a lot of weight with city officials, and if this new proposal is approved, it could put you at greater risk of arrest for a drug crime, violent crime or some other type of criminal offense.
Police asking for overtime funds to support law enforcement “surges”
There are a number of individual initiatives that make up the new budget proposal. Baltimore police are asking for $195,000 to establish a committee with the goal of reducing homicides that would be modeled on the Milwaukee Homicide Review Commission. Another $195,000 would be designated to creating a center where police officers can drop off curfew breakers. And, Baltimore police want $60,000 to use as reward money to solicit tips to help in recovering illegal firearms.
However, the bulk of the proposal concerns a $1.2 million initiative to expand the law enforcement presence in 17 areas throughout the city. The money would be used to pay for overtime for officers. In the proposal, the initiative was described as sending “surges” of officers to areas thought to be high in crime.
The program involving zones of heavy enforcement began in 2013 with a focus on four areas in West Baltimore and East Baltimore. Gradually, it has expended, and police need the new funds to continue the program. Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts has said that up to 10 different shifts or waves of police patrols are sent into targeted areas under the initiative, with drug crimes being a primary target (he claims the multiple shifts prevent dealers from learning any type of regular schedule for the enforcement waves).
Arrested? Contact the Greenberg Law Offices
Approval for the overtime proposal is not yet a sure thing. “I want to see real crime reduction tied to overtime,” City Council President and chairman of the Board of Estimates Bernard “Jack” Young told The Baltimore Sun. Police have a definite incentive to shoot for high arrest totals considering the availability of overtime pay for them has been linked to concrete results.
Combine more cops on the street, and more pressure for them to make arrests, and you wind up facing far greater chances of winding up in jail yourself. If you have been accused of committing a crime, a strong legal defense is essential. While more arrests may come of these Baltimore police “surges,” it is entirely possible that officers could get sloppy in a rush to justify their overtime pay; a skilled defense attorney can get evidence collected in violation of your rights thrown out. If you have been arrested, call the Greenberg Law Offices today to ensure you are not unfairly punished.