Report from Dan Orr, ECA Safety Committee Chair (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Based on a report by the City Manager, violent crime is up 46 percent in Annapolis as compared to 2015, and Eastport experienced the surge before other parts of the City. Four people were shot in separate incidents near President and Madison Streets between January and April of this year. The gun violence culminated on April 17, 2016, when more than 30 bullets smashed through two homes and seven cars on President Street. Fortunately, no-one was injured but the City was outraged and the Annapolis Police Department (APD) moved quickly to investigate and expand patrols. The following month, two men were arrested for the gunfire and await trial.
April 17 may have marked a turning point in Eastport. While four aggravated assaults and three armed robberies have occurred in Eastport since then, the same number of violent crimes occurred during the same time period in 2015. Many felt understandably fearful after a home invasion occurred earlier this month, but these incidents are rare. Burglaries in Annapolis have occurred at a rate of 280 per 100,000 in 2016, less than half of the national average.
On the other hand, violent crime in Annapolis overall seems to be getting worse. Our homicide rate this year is more than 23 per 100,000, a higher rate than any large city in America, and over 400 percent of the national average. A record nine homicides occurred in Annapolis so far this year. APD has arrested seven suspects, and has said that much of the violence is related to the local heroin trade. In addition, eight of the homicides occurred on or adjacent to properties owned by the Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis (HACA). HACA recently fired its security director but has yet to name a replacement. Some Annapolitans believe that APD must do more to police HACA properties through Neighborhood Enhancement Teams. Others believe that HACA must do more to protect its own residents, and that APD is unlikely to succeed without more support from within HACA.
While the City grapples with the larger policy issues, there are a few things that each of us can do to help keep Eastport safe:
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Eastport Civic Association
P.O. Box 3539
Annapolis, MD 21403