BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore has challenges ahead as the homicide rate continues to climb and the federal corruption trials of gun task force officers are underway.
City Council President Jack Young spoke to reporters Wednesday about the state of the police department.
He expects two things from the new commissioner: Stop the violence, and build public trust.
There have been 19 homicides in Baltimore so far this month, including a double homicide in west Baltimore Tuesday afternoon.
Baltimore’s new Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa has been in command since last Friday, and in that time, eight people have been killed.
“There’s people at home in their homes and their houses and in the community that’s frustrated, and they want answers and they want change, and it’s going to happen,” Darryl De Sousa said at his initial press conference.
And questions loom about police/community relations, with gun task force officers indicted for corruption.
“I do know that some of the street guys used to say the police department had these officers who were robbing them, and I didn’t believe it, but look what’s happening now, we got officers indicted,” Young said.
Young considers public trust and transparency a priority.
“I think that this new commissioner is going to do the same thing that Davis was trying to do, get rid of these officers who are doing bad things because they make it look like everyone is corrupt, and everyone is not corrupt,” Young said.
And everyone has a role in good policing.
“People really need to come together,” said Baltimore resident Sheila Smith. “You can have a lot of rules and things, but the people need to come together.”
A city council vote to approve De Sousa’s appointment as commissioner is expected next month.
De Sousa says he plans to create a constitutional policing unit to provide oversight on the street.
A U.S. Department of Justice investigation found that Baltimore police routinely violated civil rights.