The academy director was unaware of the training exercise at the long-abandoned Rosewood Center in Owings Mills, and no supervisors were present, police have said.

While there were no supervisors present at the training exercise, one officer there was a member of Batts' executive protection team, The Sun reported last week. The commissioner said he knew that his officer, an academy instructor, was in training that day.

"The specificity of where the training [was] is where I expect my chain of command to have that and be responsible for that, and make sure that procedures and authorizations are done in a proper manner," Batts said. He declined to go into detail about any violations of protocol.

Annapolis Police Sgt. Pamela Johnson, who has served as that department's training coordinator for six years, said she has full confidence in the Baltimore police academy. The small department, which doesn't have its own training academy, has been sending recruits to Baltimore for more than 25 years.

This year, three Annapolis recruits are enrolled, and Johnson said Baltimore police officials have kept her informed of their investigation into the training accident.

"We were contacted by the academy of what happened that day and we were kept in the loop," Johnson said. "We're confident that they'll review their processes and make any changes they need to make."

While Annapolis doesn't train recruits, the department does practice "active shooter" scenarios in which its officers carry paint-cartridge pistols. As policy, the department bans loaded weapons at training sites. Instructors and trainees are not allowed to carry service weapons.

As a precautionary measure, the department posts an armed security officer outside the training site to keep guard and resolve concerns that the officers in training could be vulnerable to an outside attack.

Johnson called the Rosewood shooting "unfortunate."

"Safety is very important, and you cannot have too many safety officers," she said. "We tell our officers that every officer is a safety officer, and I can't stress how important it is to make sure you have those policies and procedures in place when you're working with weapons."

It remains unclear whether the Feb. 12 city training exercise was authorized and whether city officers had permission to use the state building. Dori Henry, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, declined to say whether the state signed off on the exercises.

Batts also addressed trainees and veterans at the academy, and has been talking to other officers about firearms safety.

He described those conversations to reporters.

"This weapon we carry on our hips, they're not toys," he said. "They're not here for games; they're not here for playtime. We have a serious job and a serious responsibility."

Baltimore Sun reporter Justin George contributed to this article.

  • Text NEWS to 70701 to get Baltimore Sun local news text alerts