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Policing the police

Accountability Board releases recommendations in Baltimore
Baltimore Police .jpeg
Posted at 4:19 PM, May 13, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-13 19:20:41-04

BALTIMORE — Real-time footage of police encounters can help restore trust in the community, and to that end, the Baltimore City Police Accountability Board has made that one of its top priorities in its recommendations.

“Require more frequent officer training on the proper use and operation of body-worn cameras,” said Board Policy & Advice Chair Jesmond Riggins, “and improve public access and understanding of law enforcement activities through enhanced digital transparency.”

Board Policy and Advice Chair.jpeg

The board, which reviews citizen complaints about officers, also wants to work more closely with investigations into allegations about officers, to speed up the process and to create an independent office solely devoted to their oversight.

Of all of the complaints directed at police here in the city, the number one complaint was neglect of duty.

Ironically, the board also sounds like it has been neglected, not by officers, but by the same city, which has to fund it under state law.

“The staffing capacity has been operating at 35 percent of what we’ve been budgeted for within the office and that has a drastic impact,” said Board Chair Joshua Harris, “I told you that the police integrity bureau or the police officers who investigate other police officers are building out a third floor.”

The board chairman says he invited the mayor or a representative from his office to join them for the release of its recommendations, but no one showed up.

“When you’re talking about accountability and police accountability and transforming how policing is done in Baltimore City, there has been no bigger proponent of that, than me,” said Mayor Brandon Scott.

It should be noted that the report is seven months late, due to staff shortages we’re told, and the board chose to release it the day before voters will decide the fate of the mayor’s bid for re-election.