By Pat Warren

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– A Baltimore state senator wants to create a special commission to investigate unanswered questions surrounding the Baltimore City police Gun Trace Task Force.

It may not be a well-known fact, but the Baltimore City Police Department is a state agency, and that’s why Sen. Bill Ferguson says the state should be taking a harder look at what has been going wrong.

“The evidence made clear that certain members of our police department were themselves criminals,” Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh said Monday.

“The extensive unlawful behavior of eight members of the Baltimore Police Department, six of whom pleaded guilty, two of whom were on trial,” Sen. Ferguson said. “I imagine to myself, imagine if all eight had pleaded guilty, we would never have known any of this. And it went on for so long and it was so horrific that we have got to figure out who knew, what did they know, and how do we ensure that it never ever happens again. And that’s the purpose of this commission.”

The officers planted drugs, stole drugs and money and claimed half-a-million dollars in unearned overtime. Ferguson’s proposal has the support of the council president and several other city lawmakers.

“It’s a time-limited, seven member commission. Ideally we would bring in people who just want to get to the truth, get to the facts,” Sen. Ferguson said.

Mayor Pugh’s office says she prefers an internal review of the police department and Ferguson is saying they can do both.

The commission is called for in an amendment to a bill calling for regular state auditing of the Baltimore Police Department.

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