The Safe Streets program in Baltimore has been active since 2009 in different neighborhoods. According to their website, Safe Streets works like this:
“The Health Department funds community-based organizations to implement the Safe Streets model in identified target neighborhoods. Safe Streets emphasizes the delivery of a unified message that violence is no longer acceptable through community organization and public education. Safe Streets also incorporates and emphasizes a strong street outreach component, with outreach workers canvassing neighborhoods and connecting with high-risk youth and young adults during evenings and weekends to diffuse situations and link them to services. Safe Streets is a tool that communities can use to restore the safety of their streets and strengthen community bonds through community mobilization, outreach, public education, faith, and criminal justice community involvement.”
In 2007, Safe Streets started in the McElderry Park neighborhood in east Baltimore. In 2009, a second site was opened in the Cherry Hill neighborhood. In August 2012, another site was opened in the Mondawmin neighborhood in west Baltimore. The last site to go live was just north of the Mondawmin site in the Park Heights neighborhood in February 2013. Like the rest of Baltimore, these sites have had their share of shootings and homicides, even with this very intensive intervention.
Safe Streets has not been without its critics. But that is not the intent of this blog post.
What we did was pull all the shootings and homicides by firearm since 2011 from the Baltimore City Open Data site and overlay them on top of the Safe Streets boundaries. We used all shootings and homicides since 2011 for the McElderry Park and Cherry Hill sites, since they have been operating since 2007 and 2009, respectively. We then used all shootings and homicides since September 2012 for the Mondawmin site and since March 2013 for the Park Heights site, because of their dates of inception.
Here’s what we found.
Since 2011, the McElderry Park site has seen 15 shootings and 6 homicides by firearm. (There were a few right on the boundary of the site, but we’re only counting those cases that clearly fell within the boundaries of the site.)
Since 2011, the Cherry Hill Safe Streets site has seen 15 shootings and 8 homicides by firearm. The whole of Cherry Hill saw an additional 3 shootings and 1 homicide in the same time period.
Since September 2012, the Mondawmin Safe Streets site has seen 8 shootings and 9 homicides by firearm.
Since March 2013, the Park Heights site has seen 8 shootings and 2 homicides by fire arm.
For a complete analysis of these sites, we would need to have information about the number of residents in them. This would allow us to adjust the number of shootings and homicides for the population represented in the sites. We would also need to conduct statistical analyses on a year-by-year basis in order to see if one year is more violent than others, or if there is a tendency in the number or rate (units per time) of incidents in either direction. So take the information in the maps above with a grain of salt.