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Judge meets with top BPD officials to discuss Consent Decree progress

First hearing since GTTF investigation released
Posted at 8:52 AM, Jan 20, 2022

BALTIMORE, Md. — Top officials from the Baltimore Police Department will meet with a federal judge Thursday afternoon to give a quarterly update on the BPD’s progress with its Consent Decree.

Thursday’s meeting is not only the first one of the year but it comes one week after an independent investigation revealed an in-depth look at what led to the Gun Trace Task Force scandal.

The court meets monthly with BPD officials and a Consent Decree Monitor to provide updates on how the police department is moving forward.

Additionally, four times a year, the court also holds public hearings to allow people in the community to comment on the department's progress.

The recent report described in explicit detail how Baltimore's epidemic of violent crime led to a police force focused on officers meeting numbers which rewarded practices like measuring the number of arrests, volume of narcotics seizures and number of gun seizures.

The reported stated the department’s hunger to meet quotas led to planting drugs on innocent people, pinning crimes on residents, and brutally beating residents often sending them to hospitals.

The Consent Decree essentially is an agreement between the city of Baltimore and the United States.

The Consent Decree not only requires the Baltimore City Police Department to make several changes to bring about effective, safe, and constitutional policing but provide detailed status reports that describe the progress made.

The Baltimore Police Monitoring Team oversees how the BPD brings out these changes.

These drafts of BPD policies and training curriculum are also open for public comment four times a year.

The areas up for discussion include setting mobile crisis team standards; the development of a comprehensive behavioral health call center to assist police with 911 calls; and a public awareness campaign that promotes alternatives to calling 911 in times of a behavioral health crisis.

Thursday’s meeting will be the first since the GTTF report was released last week. The report also included recommendations on how the department can improve.

Baltimore Police commissioner Michael Harrison said the report “provides a clear roadmap; and by implementing them, along with our consent decree, BPD can write the next chapter in our history, one that the city of Baltimore can be proud to call its own.”

The period to submit public comments for Thursday’s meeting is closed. Comments for future hearings may be submitted online or through email/mail/Facebook.

Previous Consent Decree public hearing transcripts can be found here.

The Consent Decree meeting can be viewed via Zoom and using Meeting ID: 161 178 3749.