Cops and probation officers visit 1,000 parolees

Cops and probation officers hit 1000 doors, checking gun offenders

More than 100 police and 80 parole and probation officers are fanning out across the city to knock on the doors of recent parolees, to see if they are there. "If it is determined that they aren't there, that could lead to a violation of their probation," Baltimore Police Maj. Ian Dombrowski told a press scrum outside the police garage as the officers headed out, four to a car. 

The department has targeted more than 1,000 recent parolees, Dombrowski said. Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services Executive Deputy Director Joseph Clocker said many of the people targeted had violent pasts. "The goal is to work with the police department to show the communities and the people that we're visiting that we are interested in their success in the program," Clocker said. 

The operation started yesterday, Dombrowski said, and some 750 addresses had already been visited by this afternoon. Neither man had any information about how many contacts were made, or how many of the parolees' addresses were bogus.

Clocker said the addresses are checked before the offender leaves prison or a halfway house, and a "sponsor" is called to confirm the address, then the parole officer goes to visit within 20 days. This operation is not that, he said, and typically the addresses are not "fake," but the parolee might not be there. "The mom could say, 'Well, he lives here but I don't see him that often,'" Clocker said. "Many of these folks are transient." They might give one address to social services and parole, but live most of the time elsewhere. 

Whether this is a violation, Clocker said, depends on many factors, and there is a lot of discretion given to the probation and parole officer. 

The police department has lately been holding more press conferences and sending out more press releases touting arrests and gun seizures. Two more arrived this afternoon. Dwayne Black, age 34, was arrested with a handgun near the 500 block of East 43rd Street, and Daphne McFadden and Andre Hawkins, both 52 years old, were arrested on the 2800 block of Virginia Avenue after police executed a search warrant. Police say they seized a .22-caliber handgun, a little more than $3,000, and "65 grams of uncut heroin."

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