BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Monday marked crossover day for the Maryland General Assembly — a deadline set by lawmakers for passing bills either the House or Senate wants the other chamber to consider.
At the same time that the General Assembly considers getting tough on crime, there are also discussions about trust in the Baltimore City Police Department.
From the police to the criminals to the police who are convicted criminals — several law enforcement issues are demanding attention in Annapolis.
“The biggest concern is that people do not want — by people, I’m talking about legislators — do not want to pass bills that enhance penalties for certain crimes because they know that they’ll be enforced by members of the Baltimore City Police Department,” Baltimore City Delegate Curt Anderson said.
Anderson tells WJZ the Baltimore City Police Gun Trace Task Force corruption case hurts the department’s credibility.
“The concern I have is the lack of trust that even legislators have in the Baltimore City Police Department,” he said.
As time grows short for passing bills from one house to another, Senator Bill Ferguson’s bill to establish a commission to investigate how far, how wide and how long the corruption festered awaits action.
“This is a time when we can look back and say ‘We have faced this unbelievable tragedy. Now, we can look back and clear the decks,'” he said.
But opinions differ in the Baltimore delegation.
“There’s nothing that we, as part-time legislators who spend 90 days here in Annapolis, can do to monitor the Baltimore Police Department better than what the federal government is doing with full-time, paid monitoring system,” Anderson said.
Still, no one denies that public trust is a major issue moving forward.
There are crimefighting bills still to consider.
April 10 is the final day of the 2018 session.