If former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley's speech to a firefighters' union on Tuesday was a test of his political ability, a talk he gave on Wednesday was a test of his governance.
O'Malley was at the Brookings Institution on Wednesday to talk about "data-driven government"—a subject he is well-versed in from his time as Baltimore mayor and governor of Maryland. During his time in office, he used data metrics to improve government's response to problems as serious as crime and as mundane as potholes.
The Baltimore program, called CitiStat, deployed 200 police officers to areas of the city where crime was most rampant. And it's a strategy that paid off, driving down major crimes in Baltimore faster than other large cities.
"We brought crime down by 43 percent. We reduced the number of children poisoned by lead in our city by 71 percent," he said.
O'Malley compared his administration's approach to the "Moneyball" strategy in baseball, where data analysis is used to optimize a team's success.
"Put your fielders where the past performance of their hitters say they are most likely to hit the ball. Put your police where crime is most likely to happen," O'Malley said. "That's the deployment of resources for maximum effect. That's goal-driven, data-driven thinking. It helps win ball games. And it helps make a city safer."