And police officials say the cost is minimal. Deputy Commissioner John Skinner said the costs associated with Diamond Training boil down to $9 a day per officer. About 1,900 officers take the training.
Some police officers, who haven't spoken publicly for fear of job repercussions, have questioned why the contracts that provided training for on-staff police trainers are still in place years later. One criminologist said the extended role of outside consultants like Walinsky and others is unusual.
David Klinger, a former Los Angeles police officer and professor at the University of Missouri, St. Louis, said that typically a department has a cadre of training officers who receive one to two weeks in specialized instruction that they can then pass on to the rest of the department.
Detailed expenditures from the foundation's tax forms were only available for January 2009 through August 2010, a period during which it reported receiving about $223,000 from the Baltimore Police Department, according to tax documents.
During that time, the foundation reported spending $156,000 of which $62,000 went to entertainment, meals and travel, according to tax documents. In that same time frame, Walinsky's group spent $3,700 on books and training materials and $2,300 on gifts.
Additional expenditures included insurance, record-keeping and other incidentals as well as about $57,000 paid to other consultants. Also during that time, the foundation's cash reserves increased, and a personal loan Walinsky made to the foundation was paid down, the documents show.
Walinsky defended the "entertainment" expenses as reasonable spending related to his training duties.
"That money is all being spent on conferences and meetings with people in the Baltimore city police department," Walinsky said in an interview. "I sit down around a table with four or five, or two or three, of these guys. I just ended up having lunch with two Baltimore city commanders to talk about the future of this program; I picked up the check."
Robert F. Cherry, president of the city police union, said officers support opportunities for training and that he has gone to dinner with Walinsky to discuss police training issues. "He has sought to get consensus from the rank and file on what they're looking for, and puts it together into his project," Cherry said.
Walinsky also asserted that he receives no salary or fees from the foundation. He said he can afford to work without a salary because of money he earned during an earlier career as a lawyer, in addition to an inheritance.
Other questions about expenditures were submitted in writing at Walinsky's request last week; he has not responded since then.
According to Walinsky's contract with the city in 2009, Walinsky said his foundation would provide five Diamond training sessions for $20,000 per session. In 2010, Walinsky said he and his collaborator on the program, Mark Byington, a criminal justice professor at Jefferson College, would teach eight training sessions at a cost of $12,500 each, according to contract documents. In 2011, Walinsky requested $14,000 for each of nine sessions.
In addition, Walinsky's foundation also sought funding for other consultants, according to the contracts. Each consultant was slated to work for less than 15 days of training and would make as much as $32,000 for that block of time. One of them gives a motivational speech on the first day of the training. Others meet behind the scenes with supervisors to discuss how to tweak the training.
Byington is the only consultant involved in Diamond who has a background working as a police officer. He visited Baltimore about six times last year and said he did not speak to any training classes, but spoke to higher level supervisors about developing and adapting training.
"The police commissioner and the deputy police commissioner [Skinner] have seen that training is where we can make the biggest impact on our officers, and therefore, the city," Byington said.
The Baltimore Police Department, and Maryland in general, have a long history with Walinsky. A former speechwriter for Robert F. Kennedy, Walinsky sought in the 1990s to develop a national police recruiting program modeled after the Peace Corps.
In Maryland he got the support of Kennedy's daughter, then-Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, who helped Walinsky secure grant money to develop a Police Corps curriculum that was later approved by the Department of Justice.
But after a few years, the Police Corps program was not turning out police recruits. An investigation by the investigative arm of Congress, now known as the Government Accountability Office, showed that less than half of the 1,000 positions funded by the program across the country had been filled, and more than $80 million in federal funds set aside for the program had gone unspent. The report concluded that poor management also stifled the program.