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Baltimore FOP says Police Commissioner's crime fighting plan is nothing new

(center) Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison

Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison has announced a new crime fighting strategy.  The commissioner says there will be an increased police presence and patrols in 120 of the city's most violent "micro-zones."

The Baltimore Police Union has issued a statement regarding the strategy, saying in part the micro-zones are nothing more than the regurgitation of past efforts.  At a news conference Tuesday, Harrison was asked about his thoughts about what the FOP said about his plan. "True leadership is defined by someone who can remain focused and not be dissuade by negative comments and opinions," said Harrison.  The FOP says this plan has an increased number of zones that previous plans and the shortage of officers with more zones to cover means a thinly-stretched Patrol Division.

Under Harrison’s plan, officers are required to patrol three times per shift in 120 of the city's most-violent "micro-zones" within their districts.  The two-block-by-two-block zones are where 30-to-40 percent of the city's serious violent crime occurred in the past five years. 

As for how officers are expected to conduct the micro-zone patrol and respond to the an already high number of calls, the Commissioner says it's all part of good supervision that [they're] working and creating performance metrics and making sure supervisors are bought into the deployment strategy. .  As of Tuesday, the homicide total for the year was at 152.  Harrison says there is a culture of violence in the city which simply has to change.  He said criminals have no fear of the criminal justice system and that many people who are victims or witnesses are often reluctant to help police.  Harrison announced adjustments including moving about two-dozen officers to the Eastern District.