Baltimore Police wrote 37 citations that made it to court in the first seven months of a docket aimed at addressing low-level, nonviolent crimes that’s one of the signature policies of State’s Attorney Ivan Bates.

Assistant State’s Attorney Patricia Deros, who runs the citation docket, shared that data on Wednesday with the Baltimore City Council Public Safety and Government Operations Committee, which was holding an oversight hearing about crime reduction and violence prevention. Law enforcement can cite people for any of two dozen offenses including trespassing, loitering and disorderly conduct.

The Baltimore Police Department, she said, internally rejected dozens of citations as being legally insufficient to proceed to prosecution. Meanwhile, law enforcement has so far issued a total of 279 citations that made it onto the citation docket.

The information that she shared with the committee closely aligns with what The Baltimore Banner previously found in a data analysis of the citation docket.

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“Why is the volume of citations issued so low, in comparison to the number of officers we have, versus these other law enforcement agencies operating in the city?” Councilman Eric Costello asked.

“Sir, I think that it’s still a process for us to issue a citation,” replied Deputy Commissioner Monique Brown, who leads the Patrol and Community Policing Bureau. “Even if we see that individual doing something, we still have other policies.”

When officers give a warning, Brown said, that “ceases a lot of that activity.”

If people do not comply with the warning and come back and resume engaging in the same behavior, she said, that’s when police “start to escalate through our policy to issue the citation.”

Brown noted that officers issued more than 750 warnings in 2023 in the Central District.

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Councilman Mark Conway, chair of Public Safety and Government Operations Committee, asked how many people have received resources through the citation docket.

“The theory is that if people are committing these sort of low-level crimes, we can help,” Conway said. “But if we never get them through the system, we don’t help, and so therefore we can’t help.”

HOPE, a wellness and recovery resource center in Baltimore, sends a representative to the citation docket on a volunteer basis.

Deros said she lets people know that a representative of the center is in the courtroom but does not track how many seek out resources. But she said she knows at least two individuals who asked for social services.

The Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office last summer sent over a draft memorandum of understanding to the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement, Deputy State’s Attorney Gregg Solomon-Lucas said.

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The director of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement, Stefanie Mavronis, in part attributed the delay in signing the agreement to the leadership transition in the agency.

“There certainly has been a delay,” Mavronis said. “But I’m committed to making sure we get it done.”