Police Updates: Neighborhood Crime Stats
Officer Sykes shared the biweekly incident report for Franklin Square–9 incidents in the last two weeks (10/10-10/22) and Poppleton–5 incidents in the past two weeks. Also a part of the newsletter, Committee members can sign up for the newsletter by emailing: Diamond.firstname.lastname@example.org
JR is concerned about teen violence and asked for an update on the recent drive by shooting on North Ave, and asked for the Police Department’s strategy for addressing this issue (especially shootings). Ofc Sykes–kind of a group effort, BPD is working on getting Police Explorers–outreach and engagement from community groups working with young people is a strategy for addressing violence–organizations such as Baltimore City ROCA do this work, is willing to share the information about the program with the Committee.
Bif–does anyone know why the street lights are out on Carey as well as the police blue lights tonight?
JR–doesn’t think enough police resources are being spent on youth violence
Bill discussed how officers are assigned to attend to community meetings–the Committee discussed how important it is to have consistent representation from the Police Department at the Public Safety Committee meetings.
Bill suggested sending letters asking for all the SWP neighborhoods to be in one district to the District Majors (will send the information), also the BPD Chief of Staff. Not unreasonable to expect there to be one point of contact at these monthly meetings.
Western District: Major Mark Taylor, email@example.com
Central District: Major Jeff Featherstone, Jeffrey.firstname.lastname@example.org
Southern District Major Byron Conaway, Byron.email@example.com
Office of the Police Commissioner, Chief of Staff Eric Melancon, Eric.firstname.lastname@example.org
Police Updates: Consent Decree Implementation Updates
Lisa Fink shared an update–what the consent decree is, how it works, what the process is for coming into compliance, and then the progress that has been made since the consent decree was implemented. BPD is under a reform process and has been since 2017.
Consent Decree is a massive police reform effort. It is overseen by a Federal Judge, and is the law of the land until the BPD comes into compliance. The decree is the longest, most detailed consent decree in the US. It is made up of law suits brought the Department of Justice–and the substance is the agreement that the police department will do certain things to come into compliance. There are 25 experts on a Monitoring Team who are responsible for assessing whether the department is complying with the requirements. It is a collaborative effort between BPD and the Department of Justice and the Monitors.
The reform process works through stages: addressing policy, training staff, and then the implementation. BPD and the Monitoring Team both monitor implementation. Decree requires BPD to issue a lot of regular reports and assessments.
Have done a lot of work on use of force, stop searches and arrest, transport, technology, EPIC peer intervention program, behavioral health, sexual assault investigations, training.
There is a lot of information at tinyurl.com/BPDreformcalendar that has all the information and policies out for public review and comment.
Email is email@example.com
Lisa ended with a ‘Know Your Rights’ presentation
Howard asked about the focus on staffing and the messaging that BPD is still 300 officers short and that this is impacting the implementation of the consent decree. They are short staffed, the judge is very interested in getting to be fully staffed. The decree does require a lot of work on the part of officers. Bill–consent decree doesn’t prevent officers from stopping crime, biggest issue with the staffing needs is not having the officers needed to provide community policing services.
JR asked if the consent decree is working? How could it be working with the high number of murders? What is causing the retention issues?
Bill: not lack of payment causing staffing issues–its other issues with work conditions. Clearance rate is impacted by the community not trusting the BPD and not cooperating with them
JR: community is fed up with the current conditions.
Scott: where should funds in the City be spent? Personally feels like the BPD is over budgeted. What does the police department think that its role actually is? Is it actually crime prevention? Role is multi-pronged–is resolution of crime not just prevention, have to have a real reason for stopping people/investigative stops. And then there is the role of community policing which is being instilled in the BPD. There is also the mayor’s violence prevention work that is outside of BPD. BPD sees its job as detecting, interrupting, and resolving crime and a part of the effort to prevent crime. BPD is not sufficient to do all the crime prevention work that is needed, but the way resources are distributed now often find themselves doing all the crime prevention.
Gates and cameras updates (Thomas): camera issue is still open, have been able to source cameras for individuals who are interested. Do help as a deterrent and a tool.
Gates: working on gates right now, have some gates that are in the pipeline in terms of residential gates.
Public Safety Roundtable
Committee Chair Elections
Thomas nominated JR to serve as Chair. JR accepted. He would like the Committee to focus on protecting young people. JR was reelected Chair of the Public Safety Committee