Today, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) sent a letter to Baltimore Consent Decree monitor Kenneth Thompson to provide comments on the Baltimore Police Department’s (BPD) draft Community Policing Plan (the Plan). The drafted Plan is a first step toward cementing the principles of community policing into all aspects of BPD’s activities as required by the Baltimore Consent Decree.

LDF’s recommendations urge BPD to:

  1. Clearly articulate the need for the Plan’s adoption;
  2. Expand the definition of community to include all identifiable groups directly impacted by policing practices;
  3. Ensure that BPD will work with other agencies to address root causes of public safety concerns;
  4. Use various strategies for soliciting community input on BPD policies and practices;
  5. Provide a clear and concise timeline for the collection of data and information to monitor and assess the Plan; and
  6. Ensure that offices and supervisors are held accountable if they do not comply with the Plan.

In January of 2017, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and Baltimore City officials entered into a court-enforceable agreement, a consent decree, to address alleged unlawful policing practices of the Baltimore Police Department. The 227–page agreement came 21 months after the police in-custody death of Freddie Gray, an unarmed Black man, and public demands for a federal civil rights probe of the city’s police department. LDF submitted comments on the proposed consent decree, and later requested to intervene in the case to make sure Baltimore residents’ rights are vindicated and their voices heard. The consent decree was approved by U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar one day after LDF’s request to intervene.

Read the full letter with LDF’s comments and recommendations here.