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Director of Baltimore police training academy resigns

Director of Baltimore police training academy resigns
Paul Banach (Algerina Perna / Baltimore Sun)

Paul Banach, director of the Baltimore Police Department's Professional Development and Training Academy since June of last year, has resigned and will be replaced by the commander of the department's Northwestern District, police officials confirmed Thursday.

The departure comes as Interim Police Commissioner Kevin Davis, appointed to lead the department in July after Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake fired his predecessor Commissioner Anthony W. Batts, continues to make changes in the department as he awaits confirmation to the permanent position from the City Council.

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Banach, a 30-year law enforcement veteran, could not be reached for comment Thursday night. He came into the position after two years of resignations, temporary appointments and a nearly fatal 2013 training accident that led the department to improve its safety guidelines.

After the unrest in the city in April, the department again took heat from the Fraternal Order of Police, the union that represents rank-and-file officers, for not training officers well enough on riot response before sending them out into dangerous situations.

Davis, in a statement, said Banach "brought a level of training and expertise that has helped shape the curriculum in the Police Academy for entry level trainees and veteran officers."

"I appreciate his dedicated service to the agency and I wish him well on his future endeavors," Davis said.

The training academy provides recruit training, in-service training for active officers, and continuing education opportunities. Those trainings are on topics such as tactical operations, community policing, professional standards, specialized units policing, constitutional policing and victim's rights.

Replacing Banach will be Maj. Marc Partee, a 19-year veteran of the force who most recently has served as the commander of the city's Northwestern District.

Partee, who has a wife and three children and is an adjunct professor at Stevenson University, has previously served in "a multitude of assignments," the department said, including patrol in the Central District. He has served on several task forces, and as Inner Harbor Commander, Central District Assistant District Commander and Northwestern District Assistant Commander, the department said.

Partee is a Baltimore native and graduate of Baltimore City College High School. He holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Morgan State University and a master's in criminal justice from the University of Baltimore.

Davis said he is "excited" to have Partee take over the training academy.

"His enthusiasm and leadership experience will be invaluable to the citizens of Baltimore and the members of the Baltimore Police Department as we continue to establish best practices within our training," Davis said.

Capt. Bernard Douglas will take over for Partee at the Northwestern District as acting major there.

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