Reflecting on Year One of Baltimore Police Strategic Plan

Mayor Rawlings-Blake Reflects on Progress One Year After Release of Baltimore Police Strategic Plan

Mayor, Commissioner Batts report progress in ongoing departmental reforms, provide update on next steps

BALTIMORE, Md. (December 8, 2014)—Today, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake joined Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts to discuss the progress and accomplishments made by the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) one year after the release of the department’s strategic plan, titled Public Safety in the City of Baltimore: A Strategic Plan for Improvement. The plan contains comprehensive and far ranging recommendations, including the implementation of best practices seen across the country.

“I am pleased to report that in the year since we released this strategic plan, we have kept our word to the people of Baltimore and implemented the majority of recommendations to make this department better,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “While we have seen encouraging results, I am committed to improving the department and realizing a safer city. We will build upon the reforms already in place to continue moving the needle forward.”

The strategic plan—conducted by the Strategic Police Partnership, led by Robert Wasserman, along with the Bratton Group, comprised of nationally recognized law enforcement experts—detailed the necessary steps for BPD to reduce crime, improve services, increase efficiency, strengthen community engagement, and provide the highest standards of accountability and ethical integrity.

Under Commissioner Batts’ leadership, the Baltimore Police Department has implemented a significant portion of the report’s suggested reforms to reduce crime throughout the city by targeting gangs, guns, violent repeat offenders, and the conditions that allow crime to flourish.

“The reforms are about reducing violent crime, being as efficient as we can be, and most importantly, better connecting with the community we serve,” said Commissioner Batts.

Over the past year, the mayor and commissioner have enhanced community policing outreach with city residents and businesses by holding public safety forums in all nine police districts. Additionally, BPD has made progress in developing and maintaining relationships of trust with communities by redoubling engagement efforts and expanding community policing outreach by increasing the number of foot patrol officers in city neighborhoods to enhance officer presence.

The department has also made reforms to ensure the highest standards of accountability and ethical integrity by enhancing and increasing training among officers, as well as restructuring the internal process and procedures of submitting reports. As a result of these reforms, according to recent official statistics, BPD has seen a significant decrease in excessive force and discourtesy complaints.

The mayor vowed to continue working in partnership with local, state, and federal agencies to target violent individuals, enhance intelligence sharing, and modernize the police department through innovative programs that have proven successful in reducing violent crime.

"Mayor Rawlings-Blake, Commissioner Batts and the entire Baltimore Police Department have made enormous improvements toward making the city a safe place to live, work and visit in the past year," said Robert Wasserman, chairman of the Strategic Policy Partnership. "Their commitment to integrity, community engagement, and overall crime reduction is truly impressive and will be a model for other urban cities faced with similar challenges. I'm fully confident that the city will continue to see a reduction in crime and an improvement in community collaboration."

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