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Adding Up Crime


Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan, who earlier this week put a spotlight on Baltimore's crime problems, today joined a group of lawmakers in Annapolis calling for a statewide audit of crime figures.

Del. Jill P. Carter (D-Baltimore) said legislation mandating an audit is necessary to resolve questions about the accuracy of statistics showing a sharp drop in violent crime under Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley, Duncan's opponent for governor in the Democratic primary this September.

"We have a lot of reason to call into question the crime data," Carter said at a news conference that was attended by a half-dozen other legislators, a majority of them from the Washington area.

Carter said an audit could take up to a year to conduct, though an aide to Duncan later said he would like to see it could be finished far more quickly.

Baltimore Deputy Mayor Jeanne Hitchcock and Del. Anthony Brown (D-Prince George's), O'Malley's running mate, both waited outside the news conference and spoke to reporters in O'Malley's defense afterward.

Hitchcock said the city is confident in its crime numbers and questioned the timing of the bill introduction. On Monday, Duncan unveiled his crime plan, calling for a statewide audit and calling into question O'Malley's statistics.
"I think the timing of this somewhat speaks to its political intent," Hitchcock said.

Brown said he supports the concept of uniform reporting of crime statistics across the state but said it was too early to say whether he would back the legislation, which he had not seen. Brown also said the timing of the legislation is suspect and questioned Duncan's commitment in past years to reforms in the criminal-justice system.

John Wagner

By Phyllis Jordan  |  February 15, 2006; 6:33 PM ET
Categories:  Governor  
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The bill was introduced by a BALTIMORE delegate. Plenty of people here in Charm City are fed up with O'Malley's take on crime. Tout reductions in violent crime and keep hassling people minding their own business. I might vote for him in the primary just so he isn't Mayor anymore.

Posted by: Fells Point | February 15, 2006 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, and in the Senate it was introduced by a Montgomery Senator. Both of whom are carrying water for Duncan. Fact of the matter is, even if the audit shows that violent crime reduction in Baltimore is not as high as claimed, it will also show that Duncan has been ignoring violent crime in Montgomery and sitting on his tail watching it rise almost 25% over the last 6 years. Duncan is shooting himself in the foot (pardon the pun) with this BS.

Posted by: hawkman | February 16, 2006 10:11 AM | Report abuse

There is no comparison between the fraud that O'Malley is perpetrating on the people of Baltimore, and what Duncan is doing in Montgomery County. O'Malley has run the BCPD into the sewer, and the only way out is to get rid of him and start over. Police are not making reports of crimes, violent crimes, even shootings. Yet, the are harrasing and arresting innocent peopl. Officers will tell you it is all in response to O'Malley's pressure to show report high arrests numbers and low crime numbers. O'Malley is not only incompetent. He is callous and evil.

Posted by: Jerry | February 18, 2006 11:58 PM | Report abuse

I am still undecided, but what I see so far is one candidate who is rather open amd offers his record to everyone for public review and scrutiny, and one who compalins he is being picked on, his city being smeared and anyone who challenges his record or comments is "desperate" or "disgruntled." Having seen both speak, I find Duncan offering clear positions and O'Malley a lot of rhetoric. I will wait to hear more, but at this point I am seeing more leadership qualities that I think Maryland needs in Duncan than in O'Malley. I don't think we can afford another four years of someone who is always making excuses and dividing people.

Posted by: John | February 23, 2006 5:34 AM | Report abuse

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