VICE posted a story today, “Can Baltimore Recover from its 2015 Murder Wave?” looking at how the city might rebound from the terrible violence of 2015. The story notes the troubling state of affairs in the Baltimore Police Department (BPD), which currently has 200 vacancies and a 30 percent homicide clearance rate–less that half the national average.
Reporter Rachel Cohen interviewed Tara Huffman, director of OSI-Baltimore’s Criminal and Juvenile Justice program. Huffman talked about the LEAD program and other new and progressive approaches to law enforcement and criminal justice, but warned that progress could be slow.
“There is room for progressive ideas and solutions that wouldn’t have gotten the same audience eight months ago,” she said. “But we’re not seeing the fruit yet. I think we still have a ways to go until we see the fruit.”
The story, which also includes quotes from Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle co-founder Dayvon Love and former BPD officer Peter Moskos, ends with another quote from Huffman, sounding a hopeful note about the opportunity for Baltimore to make lasting changes: “There’s definitely political will to stop the bleeding, but whether or not there’s a real recognition of what the underlying problems are, I’m not sure,” she says. “The city is still in transition, but we have a lot of opportunities right now to get this right.”