BALTIMORE, Md. (WJZ) — Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel criticizes Baltimore’s police reform efforts in a New York Times opinion piece published Wednesday.

In it, Emanuel said that Baltimore’s efforts are lagging since the reform efforts started three years ago.

“Baltimore’s effort is lagging, with violent crime rising to levels not seen in a quarter-century. As a big-city mayor, I know firsthand how difficult these challenges are to overcome. Chicago is still a long way from the level of public safety we want for every neighborhood. Since 2016, however, homicides are down 27 percent and shootings are down 32 percent,” he wrote in the NY Times.

Emanuel contended that not including officers in the process was Baltimore’s pitfall.

“From the beginning, I contended that, without buy-in from police officers, it would be impossible to make progress in creating safer streets and a more accountable police force,” he wrote.

He said Baltimore’s problem stems from instability in leadership and “missteps in engaging rank-and-file officers.”

A recent survey found three out of four city officers feel the consent decree keeps them from doing their job.

Baltimore’s new police commissioner Michael Harrison worked to reform the New Orleans Police Department, who was also under a consent decree, in his previous post.

‘Accountability’ Top Priority For New Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison

In an interview with WJZ’s Paul Gessler back in March, Harrison said a part of the department’s changes would come from taking accountability.

“It’s about building systems of accountability that inform us,” he said. “About good behaviors and bad behaviors. About good supervision and bad supervision. About good management and bad management.”

Baltimore Police did not have a comment Friday when asked about the piece. WJZ has also called Mayor Jack Young’s office for comment.

Read Emanuel’s full opinion in the New York Times. 

 

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