"Help is on the way"| But how many more cops do Baltimore City Police Districts need?
Baltimore’s new police commissioner says “help is on the way,” with more officers joining the department. Police records obtained by Fox45 show dozens of officers missing from its districts.
Thursday, Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa joined Maryland Governor Larry Hogan in a visit to a Southwest District roll call.
“25 to 30 years ago, when we came into roll call every day, it was 21, 22 people sitting at every roll call across the city,” De Sousa said as he addressed southwest district officers.
4 officers stood in front of him.
Monday, Baltimore Police Chief for the Office of Public Information T.J. Smith said, “the roll call is not indicative of how many officers are actually working the streets.”
Fox45’s Crime and Justice Team obtained a document that does.
Every Wednesday, the police department releases a Patrol Strength Report. On the last report before the governor visited roll call, 55 officers were missing from the Southwest District.
The district is authorized to have 141 officers. Southwest has 112 assigned, for a deficit of 29. Those numbers represent “actual vacancies.”
“Transitional vacancies” show officers on various forms of short term leave from the street, like light duty, medical, or those suspended. Last week, 6 officers were on limited duty, 3 were on medical leave, and not working at all. 6 officers from the Southwest District were suspended, more than any other police district last week.
Add up all the districts, with their actual and transitional vacancies, and the department is short 461 officers.
“Each day, we send officers out to the road, we ensure there is adequate staffing,” Smith said.
At the roll call, De Sousa said more police are coming. The police academy is graduating classes in April and June.
“Each and every day, you guys are heroes, so just stay safe,” De Sousa said, as the officers of the Southwest District began their day.