Mary Rose Madden

Senior News Producer and Reporter

Mary Rose is a reporter and senior news producer for 88.1 WYPR FM, a National Public Radio member station in Baltimore. At the local news desk, she assigns stories, organizes special coverage, edits news stories, develops series and reports. 

She has coordinated election coverage—including the 2008 presidential election—and written for award-winning series such as "Growing up Baltimore" and "Baltimore '68: The Fire Last Time." She has covered stories from the foreclosure crisis to the horse-racing industry, from the alarming high school dropout problem in Baltimore to a traditional college marching band gone hip-hop. She reported on the rights American Indians have – or rather don’t have – to their ancestors’ remains in Maryland. And with this reporting, state legislators signed a law that would change that.

She's reported from Rwanda for The International Reporting Project and won a national award for her story on the children who were born of rape during the 1994 genocide.

Before entering journalism, she worked in the social development of children and families and worked in a hospice providing support to families.

Email Mary Rose.

Last week, a Baltimore judge found Officer Edward Nero not guilty of reckless endangerment, among other charges, in the death last year of Freddie Gray.  Nero's attorneys said he wasn't aware of an updated policy that required prisoners to be seat belted when he helped put Gray in a transport van, handcuffed, with shackles, and no seatbelt.

According to the medical examiner, Gray died from injuries suffered in the back of the van.

Since the death of Freddie Gray last April and the protests and unrest that followed Baltimore’s Police Commissioner Kevin Davis has talked about the changes the department needs to make to improve relations between the police and the citizens in the city.

Even before the riots broke out in Baltimore, tensions were high near the western district police station.  The western district is where Freddie Gray lived, where he was arrested.

Baltimore's homicide rate rose last year while fewer cases were reported solved.  In 2015 the homicide rate rose more than 60% from the previous year.  In 2014 there were 211 homicides reported.  The number in 2015 was 344.  At the same time fewer homicide cases were reported solved.  The percentage of homicides solved by the police is called the clearance rate.  Last year, Baltimore saw its clearance rate drop from 57% in April to 40% in June and then it dropped to 30% in August which is where it hovered for the rest of the year, an arrow pointing in the wrong direction for the city.

Out of the 327 homicide cases in the city this year, only about 67 of these investigations have been closed.  The police need witnesses and information from the community in order to solve cases.  But the public wants info from police department, too -- such as the number of complaints made about police misconduct. And what happens to cops who are subject to internal investigations?

Every Wednesday night for almost two and half years, Tawanda Jones and her family gather on the street with supporters trying to get justice for her brother, Tyrone West. They chant, "I can't stop.  I won’t stop. Until killer cops are behind cell blocks".

On the some of the hottest days of this summer, 14-year-old LaAsia Griffin and her big brother Jamal popped a white canopy tent and set up penny candy, chips, and crackers for sale on two long tables at a busy stop light in West Baltimore's Poppleton Neighborhood.


Three weeks before he was fired, Former Police Commissioner Anthony Batts held a meeting in a basketball court adjacent to a playground in West Baltimore. The community was invited to observe the meeting police were calling “community comstat”.

Programming Note: Today, we start a police reform series called, "On The Watch: Fixing The Fractured Relationship Between Baltimore's Police And Its Communities".  The series will run for the next twelve months.  Please email the reporter at mmadden@wypr.org with any comments or suggestions.

Crime in Baltimore is up, but police presence is down, residents say.  Arrests have plummeted, open air drug markets operate freely and since May 1, six homicide victims were under 18.

Baltimore’s police union announced Wednesday that it is launching a review of the police department’s actions in the days following Freddie Gray’s death from injuries sustained while in police custody.

Lt. Gene Ryan, president of the local Fraternal Order of Police, said more than 160 officers were injured during the riots after Gray’s funeral last month. He wants to clear up questions about what orders were given so that police officers will be safe should a similar situation arise in the future.  

Pages