Baltimore police announce 13 arrests in unsolved murders

January 28, 2020 GMT

BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore law enforcement officers have “stepped up” their efforts to arrest people for murder, the city’s police commissioner said as he and the mayor announced the arrests of 13 people on murder charges for crimes committed early this year and in 2019.

In addition, Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said more residents are helping police in the investigations of unsolved murders, the Baltimore Sun reported.

“That is very pleasing, but we need more. People are coming forward to help us which is exactly what we want and is exactly what community policing is about,” Harrison said.

He and Mayor Bernard “Jack” Young spoke Monday at a news conference where they announced the arrests of 13 people on murder charges, including a 16-year-old charged in a double murder.

The news conference was a chance for Young and Harrison to offer what they called some positive news following a year in which 348 people were killed in the city and the department closed the previous year with a 32 percent homicide clearance rate. That’s a significant drop from the department’s previous years and below the national average.

As of Monday, Baltimore has recorded 23 homicides for this year — a number Harrison says is “not a good” number, but he believes the department has shown progress and increased its efforts to solve murder cases and make arrests.

This includes the department adding 14 more detectives, Harrison said.

Young called the arrests and the stepped-up efforts “a good start.” But he said he expects “to maintain this momentum and to continue to hold accountable violent repeat offenders.”