Baltimore City Councilman Brandon Scott introduced legislation Monday that would create a 20-member committee of local residents to advise the city police department on a wide range of issues.

Scott said the proposed Citizens Advisory Committee for Public Safety is needed even though the consent decree entered into by Baltimore police and the Department of Justice already calls for the creation of a Civilian Oversight Task Force, which will propose how civilian oversight of the police department can be improved.


In addition, Baltimore already has a Civilian Review Board, which investigates allegations of police misconduct.

"This is not in competition with the advisory commission for the consent decree," Scott told fellow council members at a lunch meeting Monday. "This is totally separate."

He said the Citizens Advisory Committee would be a standing body that would outlive the consent decree, unlike the Civilian Oversight Task Force.

"We can't wait five years," he said. "While the consent decree is important, we have to focus on the after."

City Council Vice President Sharon Green Middleton said she supported the idea as a way to "give more citizens an opportunity to be engaged with public safety issues."

Thirteen of 15 City Council members signed on as supporters of the legislation.

Scott said the 20-member committee would advise the police department on improving relations with various community groups and how to better recruit new officers who live in Baltimore.

Scott's legislation calls for a state senator and delegate from Baltimore to sit on the committee, along with representatives of the Hispanic and LGBT communities, an expert on reentry, a resident of public housing and a member of the police union, among others.