Baltimore may see lowest homicide count since '80s

December 23, 2011 - 6:35 PM

BALTIMORE (AP) — The city known nationwide as a homicide hot spot thanks to TV crime dramas could record its lowest annual homicide total since the early 1980s.

Through midday Friday, Baltimore has recorded 194 homicides this year, putting it on track to see fewer than 200 homicides for the year and the lowest homicide rate in more than 20 years.

City leaders credit a sustained focus on repeat violent offenders and increased community engagement for the continued drop that reflects a nationwide decline. But in a city that has shrunk for decades, officials hope people will take note of their successes.

Police Commissioner Frederick Bealefeld says he's pleased with the reduction, but not satisfied.

The television series "The Wire" and "Homicide" both spotlighted the Maryland city's struggles with crime.