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City police adopt 'People's' tactics, Norris critics say


A group of vocal opponents to Mayor Martin O'Malley's policing strategy said yesterday that city officials have quietly implemented an alternative plan that emphasizes community involvement over assertive tactics.

The announcement surprised police and City Hall officials. Backers of "The People's Plan," including state Sen. Clarence M. Mitchell IV, met with reporters outside City Hall and thanked the police for "implementing their plan."

Mitchell's group lobbied against the appointment of Commissioner Edward T. Norris, arguing that his policies would lead to black residents being singled out for harsh treatment by police.

A City Hall spokesman said any similarities in the two plans are coincidental. O'Malley's crime fighting plan calls for assertive police tactics to combat the city's high crime rate.

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