Retiring Baltimore City Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld and his policing tactics are getting more praise than I think he deserves, although he does deserve praise.
I do think crime in the city is down year over year, but I don't think it has much to do with Bealefeld's crime fighting strategy. There are many factors that are contributing to the drop in crime all over the country and not just in Baltimore City. I would guess the biggest contributor to the drop in murders in Baltimore City over the last few years is the crack cocaine epidemic has petered out.
But Bealefeld deserves praise for bringing steady leadership to the Baltimore City Police Department, something that it had been lacking for many years before his arrival.
Still, Baltimore City is a very dangerous place, in certain areas. It is not as dangerous as it was in the 90s, but I think I am safe in saying that the areas where it is dangerous have expanded over the years. So, while crime is down overall, the areas where crime is happening on a regular basis is up. That is just an opinion, but I think it is fairly accurate. Perhaps I will research it more when I have time.
Baltimore Grand Prix:
The Baltimore Grand Prix is in trouble again. I think Mayor Rawlings-Blake should remember the old mantra: Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.
But it may be too early to tell if Mayor Rawlings-Blake should be ashamed. Surely things aren't looking good, but I hesitate to make a judgment on this issue yet as I do believe this mayor is a very good poker player and it is difficult to read her face to determine what cards she is holding. I wouldn't be surprised if she pulls the race off somehow. Remember how she ended the Occupy Baltimore protest downtown with little media notice and no disturbance from the protesters like other cities had to deal with? It was a master stroke.
I think Mayor Rawlings-Blake should be judged on how she handled the 2012 Grand Prix not so much on whether the race was run but on if the city was taken to the cleaners financially after all is said and done.