Baltimore County and state government officials touted decreasing crime statistics at a blustery outdoor press conference in Catonsville Tuesday, stating that crime is at a 35-year low in the county.
Crime for the first six months this year, in all eight serious crime categories measured, is down compared to the same time period in 2009.
Across the county crime decreased in the following categories significantly:
- Homicides down by 44 percent
- Rapes down by 20 percent
- Car thefts down by 22 percent
- Robberies down by 17 percent
- Burglaries down by 7 percent
- Arson down by 17 percent
- Thefts down by 10 percent
Elected officials from all levels turned out for the press conference, which was held on the steps of the Bloomsbury Community Center on Bloomsbury Avenue in Catonsville.
Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith spoke and shared the podium with Police Chief Jim Johnson, Baltimore County State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger and Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley. O'Malley, who arrived several minutes after the press conference started at 11:30 a.m., cited the Governor's Office of Crime Prevention for supporting Baltimore County in its crime-fighting efforts.
Smith and Johnson both gave credit to county police, who have worked hard despite tough economic times. Johnson said the department has been able to do this while maintaining a balanced police department budget.
"The goal has always been not just making people think they're safe but actually making them safe," Johnson said.
The crime reductions while significant, are not unprecedented, as Smith noted crime in Baltimore County for the first half of 2009 was also down compared to 2008.
Editor's Note: The numbers indicated above have been rounded from the original press release.