Baltimore Wants Change to Scathing Police Culture

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Sweeping reforms are set to come out of the scathing department of justice report on the Baltimore City police.

But what should those changes be?

Community leaders weighed in with the feds Friday.

The department of justice is trying to come up with a list of mandates for Baltimore City Police. They got some suggestions Friday.

The damning report from the DOJ revealed a pattern of discrimination within Baltimore City Police.

Now plans are being made to turn it around.

“Change is always difficult, especially change a culture,” said former City Police Commissioner Leonard Hamm, a 24-year-veteran of the force. He says there must be an overhaul in how officers are monitored and trained.

“We need to go back to some basic stuff. About getting people out of cars and getting people to walk up to people and say good morning I’m officer Hamm, I work this area,” said Hamm.

“This is a very important moment,” said Maryland Senator Ben Cardin, who assembled the panel. “We know that we need to restore the confidence between the community and the police department.”

Community leaders got their say at what should go into a legally binding consent decree to fix police problems.

“If you’re not measuring how our law enforcement engages the community, what are those indicators?” said Raymond Lucas of the 100 Black Men organization.

“There’s not one solution. I don’t even think two or three solutions. Multiple solutions,” said Wandra Ashley-Williams of the NAACP.

The City Police commissioner tells WJZ he is committed to serious reforms.

“This is something that will be mandated. It will last beyond the mayor beyond me. It will be a lasting legacy for policing in the city of Baltimore,” said Kevin Davis.

A legacy former commissioner Hamm would also like to see.

“I know we have the ability as police officers to be better and do better and we want to be better and we want to do better,” said Hamm.

So Baltimore can be a better city. DOJ officials hope to have a final consent decree by November 1. The consent decree will be filed in federal court and overseen by a monitor.

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