(BLAKE NEFF, DailyCaller.com) Officers are abandoning the Baltimore police force in droves, and not many are applying to take their place, even as the city has descended into chaos in the year since Freddie Gray’s death.
At the beginning of 2015, according to Reuters, Baltimore had 2,805 officers on its police force, overseeing a high-crime city of about 620,000 people. By the end of the year, though, the force had shrunk to 2,634 officers, a drop of 6.1 percent. That decline has only accelerated in 2016, with the force dropping to just 2,445 in June, a fall of 6.8 percent from January.
Baltimore’s criminal elements have hardly been accommodating to the shorthanded force. Murders surged a staggering 63 percent in 2015, with 344 people killed. The city’s pace is somewhat slower this year, but still well above what it was just a few years ago.
Like many large cities, Baltimore has been grappling with severe budgetary issues, which can explain some of the decline. But it’s impossible to ignore the influence of Freedie Gray’s death. The scandal resulted in six Baltimore police going on trial (though none have been convicted thus far), commissioner Anthony Batts’ termination, large-scale rioting, and a wave of anti-police sentiment not only in the city but across the country.
Click here to continue reading