On Monday, Baltimore City Council approved a new police district map, marking the first significant changes to the city’s nine districts in 60 years, Emily Opilo reports for the Baltimore Sun. Mayor Brandon Scott—who Baltimore Police consulted during its drafting—is expected to approve the final version of the map, which does not include any adjustments from the Council despite opposition from some of its members and Baltimore residents.
Why are some opposed to the updates to the district lines?
Some residents, and three City Council Members, criticized the new map for moving their neighborhoods into districts with higher crime rates, which could potentially lower their property values. Other residents said they were worried about the police dedicating fewer resources to their areas and the loss of long-standing relationships with their current district leadership.
Residents of the Belair Edison and Madison-Eastend neighborhoods expressed concern about their move to the Southeast District, according to Councilman Antonio Glover. Under the updated boundaries, the Belair Edison and Coldstream-Homestead-Montebello neighborhoods would fall in the Eastern District, which receives the least amount of funding.
The new boundaries would decrease the size of the Northeastern District—once the largest in population and police personnel—and broaden those of the smallest, the Western District, to include neighborhoods such as Reservoir Hill, Bolton Hill, and Upton. The map also relocates an intersection of districts known for high rates of gun violence into the Southwestern District.
Anything else I should know?
The redistricting process follows a 2019 state law that requires Baltimore Police to reconsider boundaries after the release of each 10-year U.S. census. City Council originally approved the map unanimously, but the vote was recalled after council members Eric Costello, Antonio Glover, and Robert Stokes objected to some of the changes.
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