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Want to help settle cases of police misconduct? Baltimore seeks civilians for officer trial boards.

Baltimore residents may now apply to serve on the five-person boards to adjudicate administrative cases of police misconduct.

City officials announced Wednesday that they were accepting applications for the first civilian seats on police trial boards. They will accept a pool of candidates — officials haven’t said how many — to randomly fill two civilian seats on each board.

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The new makeup required a campaign to change state law in Annapolis and the police union contract, acting Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young said.

“It was well worth the effort. Residents now have an important role to play in ensuring that the rules apply to everyone,” he said in a statement. “With fair and effective discipline, good officers will take heart and become empowered. Bad actors will shape up or ship out.”

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Baltimore Police Officer Caesar Goodson Jr. was found not guilty on all administrative charges in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray.

Such cases had been reviewed by a board of three police officers: two commanders and one officer with equal rank of the person on trial. The board votes to make recommendations on discipline — even whether an officer should be fired — but the police commissioner has final say.

The new boards will comprise five voting members: a pair of civilians and three police officers. City Solicitor Andre Davis called it a milestone in police reform.

A pair of civilian volunteers could help oversee Baltimore Police misconduct cases under the new contract agreement proposed between the department the city and the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3, the union that represents the rank-and-file officers.

“When police are accountable to the community they serve, trust will grow, establishing the conditions for true public safety,” he said in a statement.

Officials say they are looking for candidates of integrity who are committed to public service, possess strong communication skills and hold no bias — neither for nor against the police. Candidates must be city residents, at least 21 years old and without any felony convictions. They must not have a serious misdemeanor conviction in the past 10 years.

Those accepted must complete 40 hours of training with state police administrators in addition to training by the Baltimore Police. They must ride along on police patrols for about 20 hours. Applicants who complete the requirements will receive $500. In addition, they will receive a stipend for each trial board on which they serve.

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