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Baltimore Police consent decree monitoring team plans community meetings, launches website

Baltimore residents will have a chance to weigh in on a court-ordered plan intended to bring reform to the city police department.

Four public meetings will be held this winter – in North, South, East and West Baltimore – for citizens to offer recommendations to a team of monitors writing the reform plan. Once finished, the plan will be sent to U.S. District Judge James Bredar for approval.

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The meeting dates have not yet been scheduled.

The monitor team also announced Thursday it has created a website — bpdmonitor.com — to provide periodic updates on the process, and will open two offices in the city. One office will be at Baltimore Community Mediation Center, at 3333 Greenmount Ave.; the second location has not yet been finalized. Those interested may sign up for emailed updates on the monitor website.

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A federal judge has appointed  Venable attorney Kenneth Thompson as monitor of the sweeping consent decree mandating local police reforms.

The monitor team was assembled by city officials and the U.S. Department of Justice officials to track police reform as required in a consent decree. The decree was the result of a wide-ranging Justice Department civil rights investigation ordered after the 2015 death of Freddie Gray from injuries suffered while in police custody. It provides nearly $1.5 million annually during a three-year term for the monitor.

Bredar was assigned to oversee and enforce the decree.

The monitor team is led by Kenneth Thompson, an attorney at the Baltimore-based law firm Venable, and principal deputy monitor Charles Ramsey, a former Philadelphia and District of Columbia police chief who served as co-chair of President Barack Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

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