Baltimore City Police Department and Baltimore County Police Department

Subject: Law
Pages: 5
Words: 1494
Reading time:
6 min
Study level: PhD

Introduction

The Baltimore County Police Department and the Baltimore City Police Department have experienced increased levels of criminal incidents. The level of enforcement of the law is observed to be a crucial factor influencing the level of criminal incidents occurring in any region. Some of the research conducted on levels of traffic and crime incidents are based on the Data-Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS) initiative. This strategy has led to reduced incidences of traffic crashes and criminal incidents. This paper explores the variables, hypothesis testing and comparisons of two police departments, Baltimore City Police Department and Baltimore County Police Department, during 2011 (Farrar, 1998).

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Different police departments have varying philosophies when making arrests. According to Baltimore (2012), arrests are one of the worst sources of measuring crime rates because they are intimately linked with the police department practices.

“For instance, one department may choose an aggressive arrest strategy, while another department may choose to reserve arrests for serious offenses. One department may choose to arrest on any degree of suspicion, another department may choose not to arrest unless the suspicion is confirmed, corroborated, or of extremely high quality. One department may be overstaffed while the other may be understaffed” (James, Sabol, Planty, & Shelly, 2002).

The stated variables result in diverse values of arrest cases. As a result, the arrests made by some jurisdictions may be higher than others, due to the philosophy of the department.

Background

In the past few years, the Baltimore City Police Department has been criticized by the administrators, local journalists and resident support factions. The criticism was due to the high crime rate in the city of Baltimore, which was reported to be among the highest in the US (Baltimore, 2012). The crimes in Baltimore city include the regular wrongful arrests of blameless minority residents, and the breakdown of mechanisms that adequately sustain minority casualties of misdemeanor. Many citizens exposed several cases of the Baltimore City Police Department arresting people for seemingly minor offenses, detaining them at Central Booking for several hours. Most of the wrongfully detained citizens were freed without being fined. A number of them were said to have been in custody at the Central Booking for longer than the time allowed by law before being presented in a court (Simon, 2006).

The Baltimore County Police Department is the primary law enforcement agency for Baltimore County Maryland. The Baltimore County Police Department has ten precincts. The statistical status will cover Baltimore County Police and Baltimore City Police Department manpower. Crime statistics involve arrests, offenses, training and clearance of arrests. The population in Baltimore County is about 800,000 people who dwell in a diverse community of both suburban and rural residents. “Misdemeanor in Baltimore country has been reducing in the last decade, though various crimes such as burglary, robbery and auto theft remain a key concern (Simon, 2006). Baltimore County has many incidents of traffic fatalities, compared to homicides, due to the many suburban dwellers. These traffic incidents are a key cause of personal injury, property damage and also result in congestion of the roads. The Baltimore county police department provides all services involved in the enforcement of the law. The agency has close to 2,000 sworn personnel and is the 23rd largest police department in the US. The department has a crime analysis section that provides statistical information about criminal incidents and traffic crashes. This information is useful in the deployment of available resources according to the crime patterns (Baltimore, 2012).

Sample

The research used was quantitative, whereby participants were recruited using records. They were randomly selected using a phone number, electronic mail addresses and the Gulf War Registry database. The participants were then contacted in order to obtain their permission for inclusion in the research. Police officers, who were available for the study and capable of providing feedback on the survey instruments, were provided with an informed consent form that they were required to sign before the survey questions were administered.

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150 police officers from the Baltimore City Police Department and Baltimore County Police Department were interviewed in the study. The survey questions were administered using electronic mail, and the results obtained concealed from other participants and the public.

Statistical Test

A G* Power 3.1.2 was conducted to determine the sample size required to conduct all planned analyses. The sample size required to detect a moderate effect size (f = 0.30) in the ANOVA, an alpha = 0.05, and power = 0.80 is 138 police officers. The sample size required to detect a moderate effect size (f2 = 0.15) in the regression with four predictors, an alpha = 0.05, and power = 0.80 is 85 police officers from Baltimore City Police Department. The sample size of 150 police officers, who had served as patrol officers, was adequate for all analyses.

Data Analysis

The researcher must conduct data analysis after pretest and after actual data collection for research analysis. The most common quantitative statistics analysis includes standard deviations, means, frequency, and mode. The researcher will also show inferential statistical tests for hypotheses examination. At the same time, he or she will perform univariate analysis of variance (ANOVA) or a multivariate analysis of variance (MABIVA) in order to understand the correlations in both the independent and dependent variables.

Results of hypothesis testing

Based on demographic variables, it was determined that the difference in population served by the two departments would cause a variation on the effect of crime and arrest. This was found to be true, since the study showed a higher crime and arrest rate in the Baltimore County Police Department, compared to the Baltimore City Police Department. This factor was also attributed to the large number of police officers in Baltimore County, compared with Baltimore city. It was also observed that the ten precincts found in the county police department include the manpower for city police department.

The population density differed at different regions of Baltimore County due to suburban and rural types of residents. This information was relevant in determining whether differences in population densities had an effect on the control of crime in the two police departments. This was found to be false, since the Baltimore County Police Department had a higher number of police officers in order to increase the police to citizen ratio. Based on the study, it was observed that differences in population density did not affect crime control in the two departments. This was due to the allocation of more staff in the Baltimore County Police department than in Baltimore City Police department per area. While the number of arrests was determined to be proportional to the population density, the manner in which the police officers conducted themselves during the arrest was different.

Secondary research was used for comparison with the primary data set. The measures of arrest used to differentiate police officer behavior and social control were total arrests, violent arrests, drug arrests, public order and drug to violent ratio. The success of this analysis was dependent on the nature of the residents, whereby residential mobility was the determining factor. This mobility involved regularities in changes in home owners and vacant houses, as well as changes in the socio-economic composition of the community.

The number of drug related arrests was higher in Baltimore City due to the higher activity by street gangs, compared to Baltimore County. The Baltimore City Police officers seek crime in areas suspected of having a lot of drug activity and therefore, make many arrests. Other research looking into the correlation between drug arrest rates and other arrest rates suggest that the former causes the latter to increase or decrease in equal proportion.

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Discussion of the findings

In sum, the number of arrests made in Baltimore County is the same as those made in Baltimore City. There is higher crime rate in Baltimore City due to the high number of street gangs, though the police activity in Baltimore County is complemented by the involvement of community policing, raising the number of arrests. The problem facing police departments in Baltimore involves mostly African American youths and crime gangs. For instance, Baltimore city has 45 different criminal street gangs. These street gangs have close to 2,000 members, with 10% being juveniles. These gangs are identified by their tattoos, attires and recognition. The Baltimore City Police Department, however, reports that the total number of criminal street gangs has decreased as local gangs have organized to join “sets” of larger gangs. Baltimore County, on the other hand has around 35 street gangs with around 600 members collectively (Fenton, 2012). This explains the high number of arrests in Baltimore City, in spite of the Baltimore County covering a larger region.

Research suggests that increased arrest rates reduce the rate of crime due to increased probability of punishment. As such, community policing is likely to result in reduced crime rate in Baltimore County, if the policies are in favor of voluntary community organization (James, Sabol, Planty, & Shelly, 2002).

References

Baltimore. (2012). Baltimore County, Maryland. Web.

Farrar, H. (1998). The Baltimore Afro-American, 1892-1950: 1892-1950. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group.

Fenton, J. (2012). Baltimore researcher killing highlights issue of robberies. Web.

James, P. L., Sabol, W. J., Planty, M., & Shelly, M. (2002). Crime, Coercion and Community: The Effects of Arrest and Incarceration Policies on Informal Social Control in Neighborhoods. U.S. Department of Justice.

Simon, D. (2006). Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets. New York: Owl Books.

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