250 City HallBaltimore Maryland 21202
410-396-3835 Fax: 410-576-9425
May 6, 2009
Anchoring the Baltimore Police Officers in the Community
This memorandum briefly outlines a potential funding-mechanism to inspire and
incentivize in-city residency for Baltimore Police Department (BPD) officers. Promoting
in-city residency for officers:
Promotes police omnipresence and thus serves to deter crime.
Promotes community ownership and further civil service.
Improves the image of BPD in the eyes of discontented citizens.
Attracts a lost tax-base.
Retains officers by keeping them close to where they work.
The city should develop a program which uses its vast inventory of vacant
housing to incentivize residency. A basic model to achieve this would require creating:
A development corporation which can bid on vacant housing in the city. The
development corporation must only sell to civil servants.
A financing mechanism which provides low-interest loans to officers to purchase
A grant program which gives officers money to refurbish the homes. The grant is
conditional upon a period of service with BPD.
An initial investment towards promoting in-city residency will be costly.
However, the city will later recover the investment through increased tax-revenue,
financial capital generated by low-cost loans and money saved on retaining officers. As a
secondary effect, the program will reduce policing costs in areas where officers live,
increase officer morale and promote Baltimore as a city which rewards civil service.
Additionally, city businesses will generate increased revenue from the new population of
“The most effective police officer is not an outsider, but an insider; and the best
way to establish effective community policing is for local residents to know the police
and the police to know the