Criminal activity in Baltimore isn't just a television show, it's also a major campaign issue in the Maryland governor's race where Charm City's real life white mayor Martin O'Malley is trying to unseat Bob Ehrlich. O'Malley proudly claims that he "teamed up with the Police Department and the people of Baltimore to enact a public safety strategy which produced the nation’s largest big city reduction in violent crime at the time – nearly 40 since 1999." Ehrlich retorts that there are still an awful lot of murders in Baltimore -- 261 in 2000, down to 253 in 2002, but back up to 269 in 2006.
I don't, as a rule, recommend agreeing with Republican attacks on Democratic candidates, but I have to say that this seems pretty damning. You don't normally see murder trends and overall violent crime trends diverge like this unless the police department has just started underreporting robberies and assaults (ironically, exactly what Carcetti accused Mayor Royce of doing in the debate on The Wire).