City Council adopts resolution calling for online 911 log

The City Council adopted a resolution Monday formally asking Baltimore police to create a system for posting active 911 responses online.

Police officials raised concerns last month about their ability to create such a system, which would post active police responses on the Police Department's website, before their planned rollout of a new Computer Aided Dispatch system in September 2014. But Councilman Brandon Scott, the resolution's lead sponsor, said new Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts has since expressed a desire to work with him on the initiative.

"They have ideas of great things we can do," Scott said of Batts and his staff.

The resolution's approval was one of a handful of actions taken by the council to increase the amount of information city agencies and partners share with the council and the public.

•The council moved forward a bill introduced by President Bernard C. "Jack" Young that would require Fire Chief James S. Clack to provide the council with annual reports on how he plans to use department resources, and to report to the council and the public on any major changes planned for unit deployment or closures prior to their implementation.

Currently, the law calls for strategic planning updates from the Fire Department to the council every five years. Young said he introduced the measure to provide another layer of "checks and balances" following the July closure of two fire companies, a decision Young and other council members said was made without enough public input.

The bill will be read in front of the council once more before a vote on final passage.

•A separate resolution was adopted requesting that the Fire Department provide the council with an assessment of the impact of the company closures and more thoroughly outline its plans moving forward.

•Councilman Nick Mosby introduced a new bill to establish a city audits commission of two public accountants, two experts in government budgeting and one business leader, all appointed by the mayor, to provide input on city audits and how they are conducted. The commission also would have as non-voting members Comptroller Joan M. Pratt, who oversees the city's auditors, Inspector General David N. McClintock and a member of the council appointed by Young.

Mosby said his intent is not to create "another commission without much teeth," but to ensure the city has "objective views" in its auditing process.

The council passed an amendment to the city charter to require more audits of certain city agencies under Pratt earlier this year, and it will go before voters on the November ballot.

•A resolution was adopted requesting that Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. officials meet with the council and city residents to respond to "observations and requests" following the derecho storm in June, which caused more than 1 million power outages in Maryland.

Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke, the resolution's lead sponsor, said she hopes the resolution will help "lay ground rules and groundwork" for handling similar storms in the future.

•A resolution was introduced requesting the Department of Recreation and Parks and the Planning Department create a master plan of short- and long-term efforts to meet the city's recreational needs.

Scott, who introduced the resolution, said many parks have not changed since he was a boy, and a long-term plan is needed.

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