Ahead of today’s court status hearing in the case involving the policing reform agreement between the U.S. Justice Department and the Baltimore Police Department (BPD), the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) submitted comments on the court’s independent monitor’s Draft Second-Year Monitoring Plan. Our feedback included specific recommendations for improving the distribution of a community resident survey that would measure city residents perception of the BPD and public safety overall.

We also strongly urge the Baltimore Police Department to conduct its initial assessment of its relationship with Baltimore School Police Force. The BPD has an agreement with school police that allows the latter to patrol city streets. The investigative report from DOJ, however, found that this agreement lacked clarity about which agency is ultimately in charge of a incident. Additionally, the report noted that there is no process provided for handling complaints of alleged misconduct by officers of either agency as well and does not require the collection and analysis of relevant data concerning arrests, stops and searches.

Today’s status hearing also will likely address the city’s search for a new police commissioner. Since August, LDF and a coalition of organizations have asked the Mayor to consider 10 qualifications as she considers candidates for the position and to allow residents to participate in the vetting process. LDF looks forward to opportunities for city residents and stakeholders to meet with Baltimore Police Commissioner-Designate Michael Harrison to inquire about his experience and vision for Baltimore. 

Read LDF’s comments here