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Under consent decree, Baltimore Police implement 14 policies

Posted at 4:20 PM, Feb 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-10 17:26:24-05

BALTIMORE — On Wednesday, the Baltimore Police Department announced new policies in place intended to help officers effectively fight crime while building trust with communities.

"This week we implemented our new stop, searches, and policies which provide the foundation for constitutional and effective policing," said Commissioner Michael Harrison. "To be clear, these policies do not handcuff our police officers."

The commissioner said officers have completed training modules that covered fair and impartial policing and how to conduct constitutional stops, searches and arrests. Harrison said his officers will receive this training every year.

Following this morning's press conference, The Baltimore Police Consent Decree Monitoring Team released a statement regarding the policy changes, saying:

"The Baltimore Police Department's completion of training and corresponding activation of revised policies on stops, searches and arrests are an important milestone along its path to Consent Decree compliance. In its investigation in 2015-16, the Department of Justice found that BPD was engaged in an unconstitutional pattern-and-practice of stopping, searching and arresting Baltimoreans without legal justification and based on their race. Perhaps more than anything else, it was this pattern-and-practice that reflected BPD's 'warrior' policing culture and eroded community trust.

"Now is when the rubber meets the road: BPD must show that its new policies and training are having a measurable, tangible impact on the street -- that its officers are treating community members with respect and carrying out their core law enforcement duties fairly and constitutionally. Particularly with the implementation this spring of BPD's new record management system, which at long last will enable comprehensive assessment of officer actions in a relational electronic database, the Monitoring Team will focus increasingly on evaluating BPD's stop, search and arrest practices. Improvements in this area are indispensable to building BPD's legitimacy, fostering community trust and, ultimately, achieving compliance with the Consent Decree."

You can learn more about The Baltimore Police Consent Decree Monitoring Team and submit comments by clicking here.

You can view the new policies outlined by Baltimore City Police below.