In 2011, Crime Continued Long-Term Downward Trend

Chief Johnson shares the details about Baltimore County's long term crime decrease.

By Jim Johnson

Baltimore County Police Chief

The Baltimore County Police Department’s 2011 crime report, now available online here, takes a more comprehensive approach to crime trends than ever before.

In addition to providing year-to-year information, for the first time this report looks at five-year trends. I asked our Crime Analysis Unit to compare 2011 data with the previous five-year averages for each category of crime because I am convinced that we can’t understand whether we’re making progress in reducing crime simply by looking at the short term; we also need to look at how we’re doing over time.

A single year of crime data can be influenced significantly by weather, civil disturbances and the random–or even once-in-a-lifetime–event. We get a better picture of how we are doing when we take the longer view.

The 2011 report shows that our Police Department is fulfilling the mission of reducing crime – both in the short term and the long term.

Looking at crime numbers from 2006 to 2011, it becomes increasingly apparent that 2010 was an extremely unusual year – probably because of the February 2010 double blizzard that kept people inside for weeks. That year, every category of Part I violent and property crime fell well below levels seen from 2006 to 2009.

In 2011, total Part I violent crime dropped even more. In 2010, there were 4,305 incidents; in 2011, the number fell to 4,250. Part I property crime increased slightly.

The real news, however, is how 2011 crime levels compare to the previous five-year average. The crime totals in seven of the eight categories of Part I crime – the most serious crimes – were lower in 2011 than the previous five-year average for each category. (The exception was homicide, in which the total number of crimes equaled the five-year average.)

Looking at the five-year averages, we have reduced Part I violent crime by more than 14 percent; Part I property crime by nearly 8 percent and Part II crime by nearly 9 percent. In 2011, we drove down total crime below the previous five-year average by an impressive 9 percent.  

In addition, Baltimore County Police continue to excel at solving crimes and getting criminals off the street. Year after year, our clearance rates for Part I crime exceed the national average as determined by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program; for some crimes, our clearance rates almost double the national average. We expect this pattern to continue.

When we see crime dropping over time and criminals prosecuted for their actions, we know our law enforcement strategies are working. I encourage you to join me in thanking our more than 1,900 officers and hundreds of civilian professional staff for their hard work in making the County safer, and for continuing the fight against crime into 2012 and beyond.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Arbutus Town Crier June 28, 2012 at 11:15 PM
Michael not much different then combat vets, I remember the started when a hospital in LA Cali, they asked the military for help with gun shot wounds because Hospitals never had to deal with them before. Now all the Hospitals across the nation know how to do the surgery blindfolded. Michael ,Thank for your service! Buzz these congenital anomaly Steve/RA/Adam have no dignity or morals and not worth the time.
Buzz Beeler June 28, 2012 at 11:41 PM
Steve, I'm not your "Bro!" I'm not your "Dude". I know who you are and that is all I need if you choose to go that route. You are what your are and your word usage shows from where you come. Nothing I would be proud of. In your case maybe that's all you've got - slang!
Steve June 28, 2012 at 11:51 PM
You don't know who I am. You missed the mark by oh.......4 states and 3 counties in that e-mail you have been passing around. Maybe that's why you never made Detective. :)
Buzz Beeler June 29, 2012 at 02:19 AM
You don't listen too well. I'm not passing around any e-mail. You sent out an angry diatribe e-mail to others. You lost your temper and then realized what you had done. By then your e-mail had reached the intended people. You made some rather harsh comments that were rather a bit of a stretch. There is a legal word for that and you know what it is. As I said, you follow the terms of use and there will be no problem. If you do not, you know how the situation will unfold. I took legal action against the county and now they are attempting to resolve the issue, but we said - Oh well! They chose their course of action and will now have to answer to the letter of the law. I would guess that you would not want to be part of a news story by going back to your prior antics. The choice is yours. For me, it would be another story. The Sun just did a series on the issue. By doing that, along with other means, you left a trail of who the accounts were registered under. I simply did what I had to do and the investigators did the rest. It's their job. When you started to act civilly, I let the issue slide. I did not feel like spending my time at following up on the issue if it was resolved. Four states, I thought you said you attended the festival at Patterson Park. You are a local resident by your own words. You forget everything you write is permanent on this site, no matter what name you use.
Arbutus Town Crier June 29, 2012 at 02:58 AM
Steve you really amaze on this issue of apparently stalking buzz, if you have something put it out or shut up...no man up and let the card fall where they may? Are you afraid of looking foolish? At this point you are bouncing around and purely being a nuance to all on PATCH and it’s obvious of your intent! You’re dancing around throwing pixie dust accusations with nothing to back it up. Oh you will come back with a smart answer, with no truth or a scrap truth, or out of context, even playing Context Clues but under which name? All you contents on each name is the same. You’re not fooling anyone but yourself. You have nothing! A leopard doesn't change his spots just because you bring him the scraps then begs a few scraps off the dinner table and now is a domesticated pet. Throw up your scraps. No you won’t will you continue to blow pixie dust, But when the big heavy wind blows in your direction your tears will collect the dust. Respectfully ATC have fun with this but you still ERROR 2002


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