BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Fraternal Order of Police is responding to Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison’s crime plan, criticizing leadership for not focusing on building up the department.
The plan cites a 470 officer shortage with hundreds of fewer officers patrolling the streets than the city had 15 years ago.
The FOP reports an average of one murder a day since June, and Tuesday was no different with a murder-suicide in Northeast Baltimore happening just two hours before the FOP held a press conference.
President Michael Mancuso responded to Commissioner Harrison’s five-year crime plan, calling it woefully inadequate saying the department must first fix comstat, which manages personnel in the department and it must focus on hiring and retaining officers with competitive pay and support for those in the field.
“Time is of the essence,” he said. “Everyday, more people die.”
This is not a new crime plan, but a way to fix and strengthen what the commissioner wants.
“It’s like building a house but starting at the roof, our suggestions are the structures that hold the roof up and though the roof has some strength, without a foundation- it won’t survive,” Mancuso said.
The FOP response also attacks the consent decree, saying many officers don’t understand, and supervisory orders that conflict with what is written in the decree.
The FOP said the Baltimore Police Department needs a full staff that is well equipped and properly trained before the commissioner’s plan can take effect.
“The more information that is shared, as well as setting a high bar for command accountability, will go a long way toward the crime reduction in our city,” Mancuso said.
You can find their full response online.
Commissioner Harrison responded during a press conference announcing a human trafficking ring bust, saying:
“With the exception of a couple of items, I’m actually pleased to see that they agree with much of what I put into my crime plan. And it appears that they took what we wanted to implement and build, and put into the crime plan and turn it into a complaint. But they basically regurgitated everything that’s in my crime plan, and turned it into a form of complaint about what hasn’t been done, and in my crime plan we said what we want to do and will do.”
He added his office is always ready to meet with them to discuss the crime plan.
“The management they’re referring to are now demonstrating a reverse of trends in crime, the numbers they cited are very outdated,” Harrison added.