Police in Baltimore City, Baltimore County must now respond to calls in pairs

Posted at 11:53 AM, Jul 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-19 08:40:05-04

Police in Baltimore City and Baltimore County are now required to respond to calls in pairs. 

Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis issued a notice Monday announcing that every call for service now requires a two-car response.

Police are on increased alert following fatal police shootings in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 

“Two police cars will respond to each call for service and that's being done for one reason simply, safety - the safety of our officers. You know we have to be cognizant of national events and we have to focus primarily on the safety of our officers when they're responding to these dangerous calls for service,” said Baltimore City Police Lt. Jarron Jackson.

The new response protocol will stay in effect until further notice. 

"The safety of our police officers is paramount to their families, our community, and me," Davis said in the statement. "Our capacity to serve relies on our commitment to keep our police officers safe as they protect our community." 

The idea of the directive is to have one officer respond to the service call while the other focuses on their surroundings.

"The reason is so we can have an officer focus on the call for service and another officer can focus on the environment to ensure everyone is safe," said Lt. Jackson.

He added that it's something officers started doing even before the directive.

“Everyone wants to have a partner, everyone wants to have someone looking out for them, just like citizens want to look out the window and see officers walking on foot, our officers want to be able to look behind them and know they have an officer supporting them,” Lt. Jackson said.

Baltimore County Police are also following the same directive, effective Monday. 

RELATED: Baton Rouge shooter was "seeking out police"

In Anne Arundel County, Police Chief Timothy Altomare is encouraging officers not to cancel backup, even when on routine call.

The Carroll County Sheriff's Office does not discuss response protocols but said they are not changing anything at this time. Howard County Police, the Harford County Sheriff's Office, and Maryland State Police have also not made any modifications.

The Maryland Fraternal Order of Police president Vince Canales responded to the shooting in Baton Rouge Sunday morning, saying, ""The cowardly attack in Baton Rouge should serve as a reminder to everyone that men and women in law enforcement throughout the country place their lives on the line for the communities they serve on a daily basis. In doing so, these Public Servants not only expose themselves to danger in hopes of protecting the public at large; but, also expose their families to the aftermath once making the ultimate sacrifice.  Please pray for our fallen officers' families and for the safety of those officers actively working this tragic incident."

He added that police agencies throughout the State of Maryland are taking steps to ensure officer safety, and officers are reminded to be vigilant at all times. The public is also being asked to report suspicious activity.

"It is time for the "silent majority" to stand up and say "Enough!" Whatever side of the conversation you fall on, we all agree that these sickening and unprovoked attacks on your Public Safety Professionals does nothing to positively move the discussion forward," Canales said.

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