Leadership from the neighborhood associations of Federal Hill, Federal Hill South, Riverside, and South Baltimore, along with Delegates Clippinger and McHale, and Councilman Cole’s office, met with Southern District (SD) Police leadership on Thursday, August 21 to discuss concerns related to the opening of the casino, communication between the SD and the neighborhood associations, and the recent stabbing.
Casino opening – Police officers are NOT being redeployed from the SD to patrol the area of the Casino, that is an entirely separate unit that will be working closely with the SD, known as the Casino Mini-District. The Captain has agreed to monitor the opening of the Casino, and if there is any increase in reported crime, additional patrols will be deployed as necessary. Neighborhood leaders have asked for increased patrols throughout the opening period for the Casino, and we all agreed to continue this dialogue with SD.
Communications with the community – The Captain has agreed to shorten the time between when violent crimes (murder, attempted murder, stabbings, shootings, etc.) occur and when info is communicated to the community associations (specifically the Presidents and Public Safety Chairs). We will continue to work with SD leadership to refine this process to ensure that accurate and verified info from SD command is disseminated to the community as soon as it becomes available. As a matter of policy, we do not share crime information unless it comes from SD leadership, as this helps ensure that we are not posting multiple accounts of the same incident, which may lead to the perception that multiple incidents have occurred. Most importantly, crime information that is accurate and verified by SD will ONLY be disseminated on social media by representatives of the Associations (in RNA’s case- Rachel Wagner or Shane Laporte), and it will be prefixed with “Direct from SD Command:” and included in quotations.
Update on the recent stabbing from early-Sunday morning – In response to the stabbing, Captain Hance has assured us of increased patrols in our neighborhoods, which have already started, and include marked patrol vehicles, undercover officers, and bicycle patrols. Specific deployment information could not be shared with us as it is sensitive. In addition, Sergeant Johns stated that police are asking neighbors for any relevant information. Suspects are four young African-American men (16-21 years old), which were riding in pairs on two scooters (scooters were either white, blue, or green). Three of the four have short hair, the fourth may or may not have long hair. They stole a wallet and stabbed a young man, and the wallet was found quickly with $100 missing. If you have any information, or if you live/work in a three block radius of the corner of Light and E. Ostend and your building has cameras, please contact the SD right away at 410-396-2499. A wanted poster from Metro Crime Stoppers with reward is expected to be published soon, and we will share that once it becomes available.