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In Wake of Attacks on Officers, Baltimore Police 'Doubling Up'

BALTIMORE (WJZ)-- In light of the deadly ambushes that are plaguing police departments nationwide, both Baltimore City and Baltimore County police are ordering their officers to change tactics, specifically with the way they respond to calls.

Effective immediately, Baltimore City and Baltimore County are enforcing a double up rule, meaning no single officer responds to a call alone. It's a heightened level of awareness after a recent string of ambushes.

It's a climate that's tense nationwide and now has police departments rethinking the way they respond to routine calls.

"We have to be cognizant of things happening across the country," said Baltimore City Police Lt. Jarron Jackson.

It started two weeks ago when Alton Sterling was killed by officers in Baton Rouge. The next day, Philando Castile was killed by police in Minnesota. Both sparked outrage from the public and led to five officers being ambushed and killed in Dallas. Then on Sunday, three more officers were assassinated in Baton Rouge.

In the wake of the tragedies, Baltimore City police are now enforcing a double up rule, meaning two patrol cars are to respond to all calls for service, giving officers more of a tactical edge.

"It's like having a partner who can watch everything else while you deal with calls for service," Jackson said.

Both Baltimore City and County join a list of other departments nationwide ordering the same or something similar, including New York, Chicago and Boston.

"Any time you can put more resources at the scene, the safer officers are," said security expert Rob Weinhold.

Baltimore City had its own scare last week when a gunman opened fire on officers with an AR-15 style rifle---this as the FBI put out a warning that police may be targeted.

"Our officers need to be diligent and pay attention to surroundings and take every call seriously, no matter how minor it sounds," said FOP President Lt. Gene Ryan.

The incidents have some cities on edge but won't stop Baltimore police from doing their jobs.

"All of our officers still suited up this morning, came in to work. They say they're still here to serve the city and keep the city safe," Jackson said.

Ryan says the department also did away with what they call a 10-7, when officers are stationary on a different detail. He says, "Let's face it, if you're stationary, that means you're a sitting duck."

New York took the new policy a step further, saying that no officers can get meals or go on personal breaks alone.

Baltimore City police say there's no time frame for the new order; it will remain in place as long as it's needed.

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