More cops per person in Baltimore than most U.S. cities

April 28, 2015

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As this Reuters graphic shows, in 2013 Baltimore had 2,829 police officers serving a community of 622,671 residents, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report. That equals one police officer for every 220 people, a significantly higher ratio than the national average for cities of that size. Despite this, Baltimore saw 233 murders in 2013, and the rate of 37 murders per 100,000 residents was fifth-worst in the nation. Overall, crime in the city fell, mimicking the national trend.

But Baltimore’s current problems have less to do with police ratios and crime statistics than with perceptions of police, an issue that has generated myriad national headlines lately. A January Reuters/IPSOS poll found that 69 percent of African-Americans believe that police target minorities unfairly — compared to just 29 percent of whites who feel the same. Just 30 percent of African-Americans and 43 percent of young people “trust the police to be fair and just.”

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