BPD files joint motion with DOJ on full and effective compliance of Transportation of Persons in Custody, Officer Assistance and Support sections of Consent Decree
The Baltimore Police Department (BPD) reached a major milestone today, joining the Department of Justice (DOJ) to file a joint motion stating the BPD has reached a state of full and effective compliance on two sections of the Consent Decree: Transportation of Persons in Custody and Officer Assistance and Support. These findings were reached after meticulous assessments by the Court's Monitoring Team into the BPD's operations in these areas.
Over the past several years, the BPD has achieved significant progress with its Consent Decree and demonstrated great resilience in the midst of considerable challenges. The Department entered into the most expansive, federally mandated Consent Decree in the country in April 2017, resulting from the DOJ’s investigation that found the BPD engaged in a pattern and practice of unconstitutional policing.
The BPD continues to systematically transform itself through enhanced policies and training and established systems of accountability, which have led the Department into moving into the assessment phase of the Decree.
"Reaching full and effective compliance with these two sections of the Consent Decree not only helps us build trust with our communities, but also sends a message to our members that their health and wellness is a priority," said Commissioner Richard Worley. "The BPD continues to make progress on our reform initiatives, which is the roadmap to sustained reductions in gun violence. As we stride toward full compliance and transformation of our Department, we will continue to improve retention and address our staffing challenges head-on."
While the Department must demonstrate sustained compliance for a period of one year for both sections, these assessments showcase the BPD’s commitment to reform, even in the midst of staffing challenges and relentless gun violence.
These assessments highlight:
Transportation of Persons in Custody
- Compliance in transport equipment spot checks at BPD Districts
- Compliance in properly restraining detainees by seatbelt
- Significant improvements in responding to medical distress
- Increased consistency in documentation of BPD’s own vehicle inspections and audits, particularly related to information technology required to be operable and used in transport vehicles
- Significant improvements in BPD’s retention of TVC footage of transport events
- Sustained, high levels of quality with BPD’s internal audits relating to transport. BPD conducts more than the required number of transport audits
- New transport vehicles and expected delivery of new wagons with updated TVC technology
- Newly digitized documentation of transport events using Axon Records, the Department’s modern records management system
Officer Assistance & Support
- Overall importance of creating a wellness program and its investments in supporting officers and offering 24-hour behavioral/mental health assistance for all BPD members (not just sworn members)
- BPD and its Officer Safety and Wellness Section (OSW) personnel communicating the availability of programs through posters, special events (i.e.: Breast Cancer Awareness, Holiday celebrations), frequent email communications about mental-health tips and speaking at roll calls
- BPD developing clear directives for supervisors during civil unrest and public demonstrations
- BPD adapting internal reports to ensure accurate documentation of peer support and outreach activities
- Notifications during high-stress incidents, to include police-involved shootings, death of a young child, volatile crime scenes and being on-call as needed for assistance
"I am proud that for the first time in the Consent Decree’s nearly seven-year history, we are able to join DOJ in jointly recommending the Court to find us in full and effective compliance with whole sections of the Decree," said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. " The only way we’re able to actually improve public safety is by doing it the right way. Constitutional, community-focused policing is the only effective type of policing. I’m encouraged by the progress being made and by the commitment to continuing this path of reform that has been prioritized by members of the BPD, from command staff down to every single officer on the street. They are showing that it’s possible to rebuild a department that more effectively serves residents."
"Constitutional policing and the reduction of crime are inseparable components of the City’s law enforcement strategy. They are not disparate goals; rather, they are interconnected elements that reinforce each other,” said City Solicitor Ebony Thompson. “Today, we affirm our commitment to constitutional principles as the driving force behind our crime reduction initiatives. Together, we build a safer community where justice, fairness and respect for individual rights guide our path forward."
As of December 2023, 25.5% of all paragraphs in the Consent Decree have been given a rating as being in “initial compliance” and another 60.5% of all paragraphs in the decree are “on track for initial compliance.”
This includes sharing draft policies and training in order to increase community participation and dialogue as the Department strives to ensure that the views of our residents are represented in our reform efforts.
- Justice Department Announces Significant Milestone in Ongoing Policing Reforms for City of Baltimore and Baltimore Police Department
- Consent Decree Basics
BPD Mission Statement
The Baltimore Police Department is dedicated to upholding the Constitution and enforcing laws in a fair, impartial, and ethical manner. We commit to creating and maintaining a culture of service that builds trust and legitimacy in all communities, values the sanctity of human life, and provides for the safety and well-being of all.