Mayor Scott and Commissioner Harrison Announce SMART Policing

Crest of the City of Baltimore

Brandon M. Scott
Mayor,
Baltimore City
250 City Hall - Baltimore Maryland 21202
(410) 396-3835 - Fax: (410) 576-9425

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT
Jack French
(443) 248-3786

jack.french@baltimorecity.gov

Initiatives Part of Larger Plan to Reimagine BPD Operations

BALTIMORE, MD (Wednesday, May 18, 2022) - Mayor Brandon M. Scott and the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) are announcing several initiatives that will focus on the intelligent deployment of law enforcement resources in order to more effectively combat violent crime.

SMART Policing stands for: Strategic Management & Alternative Response Tactics.

“Building real public safety requires us to develop legitimate solutions to more efficiently, more effectively, and appropriately deploy law enforcement resources when and where needed,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “True to its name, this is an innovative, data-driven, and smart transformation that will put more police officers out in the community doing what our residents need them to do, deterring and solving crimes.”

“These strategies not only help us to bring police services faster and more efficiently to residents, but it will also make our officers more available for proactive patrols and community engagement, which will help us increase visibility,” said Commissioner Michael S. Harrison. “This is smart, efficient policing and the direction the Department needs to move in.”

The BPD has been working to retrain officers and use existing resources as efficiently as possible. These SMART Policing efforts are concentrated in the following areas:

Providing Alternatives to the BPD – Some types of calls, such as behavioral health crises or non-emergencies, do not need to be dispatched to officers. Rather, others such as social workers or third-party vendors, can handle these calls. As these programs come online, the BPD will dispatch to these alternatives directly and discontinue dispatching to officers for certain non-emergency call types.

Traffic Accident Management – Rather than dispatching an officer for non-injury or non-DUI-related traffic accidents, the city will engage a third-party vendor to respond to a portion of these calls. This pilot program is anticipated to launch this summer and will focus on accidents that don’t require a state police report or a police response.

Expanded Diversion to TRU/Online Reports – The Telephone Reporting Unit (TRU) represents a smarter way to provide police services and a better way to serve the public. Certain call types – such as non-emergencies, lost property or larceny – will be fully diverted to TRU instead of providing an in-person police response. These reports may be submitted over the phone or online.

False Alarm Reduction Program – BPD is working with the City Council to explore how we can improve false alarm ordinances and work with alarm company vendors to ensure that calls for burglar alarms are only for actual emergencies. The proposed ordinance would authorize the department to discontinue an officer response to locations that have recorded five false alarms in a calendar year.

Residents who need to contact the Telephone Reporting Unit may do so from 7 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Friday at 410-637-8849.

For more information on how the Baltimore Police Department is utilizing SMART Policing, go to baltimorepolice.org.

To file a police report online, go to baltimorepolice.org/file-police-report.

More about the Reimagining Policing initiative may be found at baltimorepolice.org/ReimaginingPolicing.

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