Crime surge means longer shifts for officers

CAMBRIDGE — Rising rates of aggravated assaults, including recent fatal incidents, have resulted in longer, busier shifts for officers of the Cambridge Police Department. Capt. Justin Todd said Oct. 30 that officers have begun working 12-hour shifts.

While acknowledging that the change will be tough for all, it will be temporary. It is also expected to yield benefits in public safety.
“Putting one or two more officers on the street will help,” Capt. Todd said.

Shootings and stabbings in Cambridge have already exceeding the total from 2019, leading to concerns among citizens. “I wanted people to know,” about the police department’s response, Capt. Todd said.

The CPD has been short staffed for years. Five positions were approved to be filled at the City Council’s meeting on Oct. 26, in response to the recent incidents. Those five, with two recruits and one individual in the academy, will bring the force up to 46, the department’s authorized strength.
In the meantime, officers have been answering around 4,000 calls a month, Capt. Todd said. With 25 uniformed police on patrol, that means a lot to do — but his officers can still meet their responsibilities, Capt. Todd said.

Still, it’s a lot, and the 12-hour shifts will put more uniforms on patrol, and an additional criminal investigator on duty in the evenings, bringing the total on duty at any one time from four or five to eight or nine.

Anyone will information related to crime in the city is asked to call the CPD’s anonymous tip line, 410-228-3784. The department has also begun posting to its own YouTube channel, which can be viewed at cambridgemarylandcommunitypolicing.