Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis told a group of city law enforcement leaders on Wednesday that he wants a federal monitor for the police department to have big-city police experience.
Davis told members of the Baltimore Criminal Justice Coordinating Council that the Police Department and federal government are negotiating the terms of a consent decree, following the release last month of the Justice Department's critical review of city police. The decree would involve appointing a monitor to report on the agency's progress to a federal judge.
Among the issues being negotiated is who will be the monitor and who will comprise their team, he said.
Davis said he's hoping for a monitor with "big city" or "large county" police experience, preferably on the east coast, he said. Davis spent the majority of his career in Prince George's County, which also was under a consent decree for a time and was monitored by a former South Florida police chief, he noted.
Other monitors for cities under consent decrees have had non-police backgrounds. In Seattle, the monitor is an attorney who had previously monitored the Los Angeles police department and sheriff's office. In New Orleans, the primary monitor is also an attorney who worked as a Washington DC poilce monitor. His team also includes the former police chief of Charlotte-Mecklenburg.
The negotiations between police and federal officials will also include what areas the police will focus on improving, and what the benchmarks will be. Among Davis' top areas of concern, he said, is developing an early identification system for potential problem officers.
"Our early identification system is anemic," Davis said.
He said he hopes negotiations will have concluded before the next mayoral administration takes over, which would be in January.
"We won't fail in this consent decree," Davis said.
Meanwhile, the Fraternal Order of Police – which represents police officers - told its members in an email last week that it is holding focus group discussions about what the union wants to see included in the consent decree.