The Wire and Hamsterdam

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Major Colvin’s creation of “Hamsterdam” was an attempt to reduce the effects, such as violence, homicide, prostitution and other crimes, of the prevalent drug trade on the city of Baltimore. The drug trade or Baltimore and its abundance of drug users were portraying Baltimore and its police force in a negative light. It was believed that nothing was being done to improve this problem. “Hamsterdam” was a designated city block in the slums of Baltimore where drug trade, possession and open use were legal. In episodes of HBO’s, The Wire, where “Hamsterdam” was portrayed, one sees a concentration of drug use and sale where police presence is seen, however they are merely overseeing the area (Hampsterdam). The goal of this legalized area was to concentrate the drug use in Baltimore to one city block, rather than having it spread out. With the sale of drugs restricted to this city block, there would be no competition for “turf” or designated corners claimed by different drug dealers. Without this competition for land, Major Colvin and the Baltimore police hoped to see less violence and less homicide cases. In addition to less violence, this concentrated area was a way for public health organizations to distribute clean needles, disease testing, condoms and safe sex education to the individuals utilizing this area. The “broken windows” model of policing was created as an experimental way of policing areas of high crime. The main focus of the “broken windows” model of policing was

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