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Report: Baltimore Cops Not Fond of City Living

A report from the Abell Foundation thinks that better access to incentives could lure more police to live in the city.

(UPDATE) Thursday 6:47 p.m.—A report released Tuesday shows the city is not a popular place for Baltimore City Police officers to live, but more housing incentives could make it slightly more popular.

According to the report completed for the Abell Foundation, of the 3,459 Baltimore Police Department employees, only 27 percent live in Baltimore. The department by far has the lowest percentage of employees living in Baltimore out of the largest departments in the city. The next lowest is the Baltimore Fire Department with 36 percent of its employees living in the city.

The percentage of officers living in city limits is lower than that of New York City, Detroit and Chatanooga, TN, according to the report.

Maryland law forbids municipalities from requiring employees live in the jurisdictions that they work. 

The report, Police Housing Incentives Case Studies, Findings and Conclusions, concludes that more incentives and better communication with officers about those incentives could lead to more employees choosing to live in the city.

A "one stop shopping" approach to let officers know about all opportunities for city living and distributing that information through multiple platforms could be key in increasing the number of police employees in the city, according to the report.

It’s also suggested these housing opportunities be clustered in “middle neighborhoods” and “clustered housing” or employer subsidized housing. 

The report also acknowledges that it may be hard to lure police to live in these areas because they fear they're putting themselves and their families in danger by living in the city, especially high crime areas, where they work.

According to the report, the city is already offering 40 housing incentives, most of them available to police, to attract city employees to live in the city.

Tania Baker, a spokeswoman for Baltimore Housing, said the city us being proactive in trying to let officers know about the incentives being offered to them to buy housing in Baltimore.

She said in the last fiscal year alone the Baltimore Employees Homeownership Program has helped eight officers with $3,000 in incentives.

Baker also said Baltimore Housing's homeownership office has made presentations to police recruits about buying in the city, as well as informing officers about a $5,000 incentive for city employees to participate in the Vacants to Value program, and reaching out to officers through the labor commissioner's offce. 

"The good thing is that they can combine incentives which is a really attractive thing," Baker said.

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Harry Callahan September 05, 2012 at 10:50 PM
Is this supposed to be a surprise to anyone? First, it's a mystery to me why ANYONE would willingly want to live, work, or even visit anyplace located within the Baltimore City Limits. While the criminals are trying to kill one another the occasional innocent bystander, like that poor woman who was minding her own business on The Alameda, is killed by a stray bullet meant for a criminal. The cops know full well that crime in Baltimore City is and has been out of control for DECADES. None of the feelgood baloney that the Mayor, the City Council, and the now mercifully-departed former Police Chief whats-his-name can conceal what the cop on the beat knows. And he/she does not want their family members exposed to the dangers of merely being in Baltimore City hold for them. Actually, I believe that for the small percentage of the police and firefighters who do still live in Baltimore City should have their heads examined for doing so.
ralahinn1 September 06, 2012 at 01:20 AM
I want to say " thank you"to the Police, Firemen, Teachers, and other service personnel who do stick it out and live in the city. You are brave to stay and help those who can't get out. Your presence makes the city a better place. Maybe one day, things will change because you did stay, and get better.Sometimes one person can make a difference.
Sean Tully September 06, 2012 at 03:44 AM
Let's see, over 10,000 abandoned houses in the city and maybe 5,000 public employees living outside the city (very low estimate). Hmm...the answer is simple. Move into the city and you get a free house to rehab.
ralahinn1 September 06, 2012 at 04:40 AM
Very good idea ^_^ Mr. Tully
Harry Callahan September 06, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Hey, that's a great idea Sean. Now the only other thing that Baltimore CIty needs to provide is: 1. A permit to carry a concealed weapon. 2. Training in the use of that concealed weapon. 3. A police detail to stand guard over their "free" house to prevent the criminals from stealing their supplies while the home is being re-habbed. 4. An interest-free loan from the few taxpayers remaining in Baltimore CIty (maybe they could begin charging a bottle tax of $1.00/bottle to pay for this) to purchase the contractors and materials needed to do the job. 5. A 24 hour police detail to keep an eye on their car 24 hrs/day to ensure that it is not vandalized. 6. A school system that actually teaches the basics and graduates students who are fully equipped for high school and, later, college. 7. Bullet-proof vests for every member of the family should a stray bullet head their way. Sure, Sean, keep on dreaming those liberal dreams of yours.
Baltimore Matt September 06, 2012 at 02:01 PM
I think we could attract public employees if we would have a school voucher system. There are many good, solid neighborhoods that are just as nice as anywhere outside of the city but at the end of the day the schools are what need fixing. Sure there is Poly, City College, Roland Park Elementary, and other good city schools, but without having zone specific school assignment, their children could just as well end up in a not-so-nice school. I propose a 3 part plan to bring in public employees into the city 1) offer them a lifetime break on property taxes on their primary home within city limits equal to half of the current property tax rate (this could be either in the form of a rebate check or adjusted on their property tax bill) 2) give them a $1500 per year, per student, voucher for private schooling (it's not that much but it can be a significant if the student is going to a K-8 Catholic school with a $7,000 tuition) 3) Have the city take over entire abandoned blocks and offer them to public employees only with low interest rehab loans (this will ensure that there are areas where a majority of people are well employeed and since everyone is a public employees, no one will be a target of their neighbors for what they do for a living).
Andre Stone September 06, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Harry Callahan, would you be so kind as to inform the rest of us where YOU live, and why that place is so much better than Baltimore City? I have spent time walking around almost every neighborhood in Baltimore, and by my estimate over 80% of Baltimore neighborhoods fall into the "very safe" category, so it would appear your negative view of the city is influenced by the small minority of unsafe neighborhoods. I have some new upper middle-class neighbors in Remington that recently fled from Towson. They've pulled their children out of County public schools and enrolled them here. You may call that crazy, but I see that as proof that Baltimore City is a place worthy of raising a family.
Dave September 06, 2012 at 05:30 PM
You know, I have to second Andre Stone's comment to Dirty Harry. I followed his comments on the investigative voice and he always says the same crap about Baltimore. There is no 1 Baltimore. It's a city of neighborhoods. Some are horrifically screwed up and dysfunctional, but most as Andre points out are decent and safe. I live in the city and have for close to 30 years. Not once has a bullet wizzed by my door step. Man up Harry. Address a counter to your opinion about Baltimore head on. There is way more nuance to Baltimore living than your blanket disparaging remarks allow for.
Harry Callahan September 06, 2012 at 08:21 PM
Andre, I live in Lutherville and I always sent my children to private school precisely as your friends did. I also have a permit to carry a concealed firearm, but that does not prevent one from becoming a victim as that poor woman on The Alameda the other day. I did live in the Govanstown area from the year of my birth until my parents moved to Baltimore County in 1966. I've never looked back since then. Sorry to hear that you find yourself living in Baltimore City. Especially if you have a job and are one of the minority of people who pay income and property taxes in Baltimore City. Work hard, save your money, and one day you will be able to afford the move out of that sewer.
Harry Callahan September 06, 2012 at 08:26 PM
Dave, I'm happy to hear that you enjoy living there. I really am. Comeone has to pay the taxes and serve on the juries. You see Dave, even if the odds are only 1 in a trillion that I would be the victim of violent crime in Baltimore City, I won't ever suffer that fate because I just never enter the City limits. So my chances are ZERO of being victimized within Baltimore City. I don't sky dive any longer (I stopped doing that when my first child was born) even though that sport is relatively safe. So my chances of dying in a sky diving accident are also ZERO. I just don't go to places where there is a chance of meeting up with criminals. I'll lead my life my way and you lead your life your way.
KB September 06, 2012 at 11:35 PM
The issue is likely about schools and very little else. Unfortunately, most city schools are not great but the proliferation of magnet and charter schools is actually changing that. As already stated, there are plenty of neighborhoods in Baltimore city that are not just as nice as neighborhoods in the county, but some are better than most parts of the county. I would argue there are plenty of areas in Baltimore county that are crime-ridden, so that's not the issue. As for Lutherville being so much better than any place in the city, that's Harry Callahan's elitist view. Lutherville is definitely no better than my neighborhood...I personally would never move there. And if the county is so great, if Lutherville is so great, why the need to send his kids to private school? Elitist.
KB September 06, 2012 at 11:53 PM
Right, Harry. No chance of criminals in the splendor of Lutherville. And, no criminals in Towson either. No criminals ever cross your path ever. So good to hear! But even better to hear that you never enter the city limits. That means I have much less of a chance of encountering you anywhere. Get over yourself. You can say that you never enter the city limits, but that's very difficult to believe. Never go to any sporting events? Never took your kids to the Harbor? Your kids never played sports through those fancy private schools at fields located at Gilman or Friends or RPCS? What do you do when friends visit from out of town? Take them to Target and Hightopps?
Judy Berlin September 07, 2012 at 03:57 PM
Shooting, first day of school, in the County. None in the city.
Steve September 07, 2012 at 04:11 PM
I lived in the city almost all my life and never had been a victim of a crime. Zero, Zilch. I moved to the County and what happened?? My car was stolen from my driveway.
nina platt October 03, 2012 at 04:41 PM
That's because no-one showed up for school that day.
Seal Team 2 November 25, 2012 at 01:52 AM
To Harry Callahan, I have 17 Dead Friends from my military services. They died defending a Country of freedom but i dont believe they died to defend your right to be a Asshole. People like you make me sick to my stomach! Former Navy Seal.

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