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by Peter Moskos

December 6, 2015

Looking forward in Baltimore

On a slightly more positive note (than the last post), Mark Puente has a good story on Baltimore Commissioner Kevin Davis and the US DOJ report due in 2016. This article is worth one of your monthly free Sun articles, assuming you don't subscribe:
In other cities, such investigations have exposed problems such as brutality and outdated training, leading to federal oversight that can last for years and cost taxpayers millions of dollars.
Davis said large groups of officers might attend a lecture at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture to learn about African-American history. Local experts will teach the courses for free, not out-of-state consultants.

"If we do that right, we will achieve cultural sensitivity, Davis said.
Ordering officers out of cars, Davis said, doesn't work if they aren't properly trained.
Johnson said the agency needs to improve record-keeping and the analysis of what leads to those arrests, adding: "That's a major problem."

Many of the arrests come from hard-charging, aggressive officers looking to clean up the streets, officials have said.

Baltimore is no different from other cities where police leaders identify "super cops" based on monthly arrests, Davis said. It's important to examine the outcomes of those arrests with prosecutors and public defenders, he added.

"If I'm a superstar cop in the Western District making 40 arrests a month, where did [the arrests] end up in court?" Davis said. "Did those arrests make society better, or did you just leave the community pissed off in the wake of your apprehension?"
Most patrol cars don't have computers, radar equipment or license-plate readers. Officers must wait to communicate with dispatchers for the information and complete nearly all paperwork by hand.

"The inside of Baltimore police car looks like mine from 1992," Davis said, noting that expected federal reforms will be costly — but mandatory.
That's all well and good, I suppose. Things can be made better. They need to be made better. Cops shouldn't hate the city and those who live in it. Too many do. Cops and church-goers should like each other. Maybe it is an essential first step. But meanwhile nothing is being said about the criminal class killing each other.

1 comment:

That Fuzzy Bastard said...

"But meanwhile nothing is being said about the criminal class killing each other."

Oh horse puckey. Lots of people have lots to say about the criminal class killing each other, from law and order types to community church groups. The problem is that the people who are specifically paid to prevent the criminal class killing each other seem to be doing a crap job, and every time someone brings it up, they grumble that they should be allowed to do a crap job harder.