Baltimore Sun: Dysfunction in Baltimore police homicide unit went unaddressed as killings hit historic levels
With the COVID-19 pandemic and organizational dysfunction in play what are the chances that leadership within the Baltimore Police Department will be able to effectively respond to the pandemic and improve police operations and build trust within the communities of color?
Here’s the latest…
“During Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison’s first week on the job last year, a top aide sent him a short, casual email: ‘For reading whenever you have a chance.’
“Attached was a detailed report — marked ‘NOT FOR DISSEMINATION’ — that in staid language made clear that the city’s homicide unit was highly dysfunctional, ineffective and in need of immediate reform.
“There were too few detectives with too little training, supervision and equipment. And they had more cases than they could handle. Instead of catching killers, they were placing unsolved investigations on the back burner within a matter of weeks, with no effective process for dealing with the cold cases that inevitably piled up.
“The Police Executive Research Forum had produced the taxpayer-funded report in 2016 to help reverse a worrying decline in solved cases.
“But instead of implementing the plans, the Baltimore Police Department mostly sat on them — and kept them from the public — as it churned through three police commissioners and the city racked up another thousand homicides (my emphasis) In the process, the department’s rate of solving cases tumbled even lower, to roughly half the national average for cities of Baltimore’s size.” — PERF News
All I can say is “sad, very sad” for the citizens of this city. It is possible to reform and improve large police agencies. But the success rate is extremely poor.
It’s going to take more than this.
Recently on Baltimore HERE.