BALTIMORE - Twenty-six people were killed in Baltimore in January, fueling the headlines that the murder rate is picking up in 2014 where it left off in 2013.
But, Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts wants you to look beyond just the murder rate when assessing what direction this city is headed in.
ABC2 News' Brian Kuebler sits down with Batts for an extended interview to discuss his plan for Baltimore, the homicide rate and why he feels this city is still making gains in lowering violent crime.
"It's more glamorous to say run for your lives the city is on fire but the city continues to progress and go in the right direction and it is getting safer," Batts said. "Now when we deal with that homicide rate, that is going to turn itself around too at the same time. There are reasons why the homicide rate spiked on us last year and what my job is is to correct those reasons and get them online."
Batts said he understands the homicide rate is what everyone looks at when examining crime trends in Baltimore. However, he added, one needs to examine the whole picture when trying to comprehend crime in the city.
"You can beat us up, you can beat me up for the homicide rate, I get it, I got it," Batts said. "I am just as upset about it as anybody else, but there is a lot to be proud of in this organization."
"If you look at those numbers…and see where we've come from, those are dramatic trends. We continue to go down, crime continues to go down."
To hear more about Batts' plans for Baltimore and how the police department will address concerns of the community, tune in tonight only on ABC2 News at 6.