Candidate Dixon’s Program To Reduce Crime

Government By Throwing Everything Against The Wall
And Waiting To See What Sticks

Yesterday, Sheila Dixon released what she calls “A Four Point Plan for Making Baltimore Safer.” Her program is in the PDF at the bottom of this piece. You’re all invited to comment on the plan.

In fact, we have asked all 5 of the other major Democratic candidates – Catherine Pugh, Carl Stokes, Nick Mosby, Elizabeth Embry and David Warnock – to comment. Honestly, it’s unlikely that any of them will respond, preferring instead to publish their programs on their websites and elsewhere. Makes sense. “Why bother to attract attention to her plan that no one is going to read anyway. Geez, it’s 7 pages long.”

The 4 point plan actually consists of many mini-initiatives in desperate need of elaboration, organization and prioritization. You can imagine the meeting at which Ms. Dixon and her campaign committee made a comprehensive list of everything they could think of – without the burden of quantifying the impact of these various programs or justifying their costs. “How about this? How about that? What the heck, put it on the list.”

Couple of things…


Ms. Dixon is not a public safety expert – any more than the President, any President for example, is a military specialist. The best the President can do is work with his senior military officers, carefully chosen for their experience and proven expertise, to define the reasonable objectives of military action – and then give those expert leaders all the support they need to get the job done. Substitute Baltimore City Police for the military, and that’s what the next Mayor needs to do.  You need the Police to get the city under control and the crime rates down.  They’re the professionals.  If the Commissioner is not up to the task, spare no expense and find somebody who is.  Unfortunately, it’s not a management concept that Ms. Dixon seems to understand.

Her approach is to wow us with the scope of her ideas. In fact, crime will not be intimidated by the number of words and mostly little programs she uses to discuss it. Her volume speaks loudly enough, but is long on small ideas and far too short on the big, realistic ones, expertly conceived, that will resolve the complicated mess that is precipitating all this criminal activity. It’s all talk with very little substance. As they say in Texas, “Big hat. No cattle.”

Does Ms. Dixon’s plan to reduce crime inspire confidence? No. Everything about it – like her time in office a few years ago – screams that she has no real grasp of how to manage a large and complex organization like our $2.5 billion city government.

We’re all for giving people second chances, but there’s too much at stake, Baltimore is in too much trouble, to re-elect someone whose only real claim to understanding criminal behavior is that she was one, a criminal that is, and happened to have been Mayor when crime rates were falling, not just in Baltimore, but around the country, having nothing to do with her being in office.

Sheila Dixon’s Four Point Plan for Making Baltimore Safer

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