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Councilman gets heat for comments about FOP, BPD

Commissioner Davis: "Statement was disrespectful"
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Posted at 11:35 PM, Jul 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-13 07:02:43-04

One city council member is taking some heat after comments he made about the Baltimore Fraternal Order of Police and the Baltimore Police Department.

Councilman Ryan Dorsey says more of those officers need to live in the city so they can contribute more to the areas they serve.

Dorsey commented on the City Paper's article posted on Facebook this week. The article addressed the FOP negotiations between the mayor and the city. 

"It's coming from me living in Baltimore City and me listening to people in the street, listening to people, reading what people have to say trying to synthesize the things that I hear from people," Dorsey said.

What he's hearing is that city residents want more accountability when it comes to where their tax dollars are going-- where officers live.

"It's a huge amount of money that comes from our property taxes the people who live here put that money into the general fund of the city and it's going out this city," Dorsey said.

Meaning because the officers Dorsey is referring to don't live in the city, that money doesn't benefit the city. The tension that prompted his comments goes even further.

"Gene Ryan is what he is, he is a member of the FOP3 Lodge and he represents them, right now he, as the head of the FOP is refusing back them from my understanding from allowing the trial board that disciplines police officers to include civilians on it," explained Dorsey.

Dorsey says this goes beyond his constituents. He says many city residents want that civilian representation on the board.

"So the police officers don't live here but the people who do live here want there to be civilians on the trial board but the police don't," he said.

This was something heavily discussed last year after a scathing DOJ report on the city's police department and further applauded by police top brass in an effort to promote transparency. Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said in a Tweet that Dorsey's comments were disrespectful and demeaning.

"That's more than just an opinion, that's more than just a comment about local residency by police officers, that's a comment that really is offensive to the men and women that work here," Davis said.

Davis says he's aware of the issues Dorsey is concerned about and invited him for a candid discussion about it.

"There is no doubt, no doubt in the world that we need to increase the number of Baltimore police in our city, No one disagrees with that," Davis said.

The FOP applauded Davis for standing behind his officers.

Davis says already, efforts are underway to retain more officers who have residency in the city.