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Newsmaker: Police Comm. Michael Harrison On Crime, Guns, Budgets

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Baltimore Police Department
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Michael S. Harrison was sworn in as the Baltimore Police Department's 41st Commissioner on March 12, 2019. He previously led the New Orleans Police Dept.

Tom's Newsmaker guest today is Baltimore City Police Commissioner Michael Harrison.

Last weekend, as the nation celebrated independence from the scourge of 18th century tyranny, the scourge of 21st century violence was felt from coast to coast. The Gun Violence Archive reported that at least 189 people were killed in the US during the 4th of July holiday. In the city of Chicago alone, 104 people were shot over the weekend.

As of this morning, 177 people have been counted as victims of homicide in Baltimore this year, and 361 people have been victims of non-fatal shootings.

While the murder rate and the number of non-fatal shootings is up from last year, the BPD has made some significant arrests in recent weeks, and crime is down in several other categories.

On Wednesday, the BPD announced the arrests of suspects who had 15 guns and the material to make as many as 40 more “ghost” guns. These untraceable weapons are figuring in more and more crimes on Baltimore streets. At the current pace, police may seize as many as 300 ghost guns this year.

On Tuesday, police announced the arrests of 25 people suspected of committing murder and outstanding warrants for five more. This follows indictments last month of 15 alleged members of a gang who officials believe might be responsible for as many as 18 murders.

Tom discusses these and other issues with Commissioner Michael Harrison. Baltimore's top cop joins us for the hour on Zoom.

Listeners comments and questions are welcome.