Police naming policy gets a going-over at hearing

The Baltimore Sun

At a hearing yesterday evening, members of the Baltimore City Council expressed few substantive concerns about a new police policy under which the department will withhold names of officers who shoot residents.

Instead, during most of the 45-minute meeting, council members complained that the Police Department did not inform them about the new policy before it appeared in The Baltimore Sun and expressed a general frustration about the Dixon administration leaving them out of key decisions. "Unfortunately this is becoming the rule with the administration," Councilman James B. Kraft said. "We are finding out about things after they happen."

Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III repeatedly accepted responsibility for not communicating more effectively with the council.

City Council President Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake suggested several times that the Police Department run public policy changes - such as releasing the names of officers - through a civilian review board. "That body is there to look at these policies and put a public stamp on them," she said.

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