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Baltimore Police major named to oversee training academy

Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison has named a new major to oversee the training academy, police spokesman Matt Jablow confirmed Monday.

Major Martin Bartness, who joined the department in 1997, was appointed to the job, Jablow said.

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Bartness was not available for comment.

Jablow said Harrison is still seeking a civilian academic director for the academy, which is among several positions the commissioner has said he has been actively searching outside the department to fill.

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Harrison is still trying a chief financial officer, a chief technology officer and a deputy commander to oversee the public integrity bureau, which includes internal affairs.

Jablow said Bartness is the first internal hire to be promoted through a new program designed to encourage internal candidates to apply for open positions. There were a half dozen internal applicants for the academy position, he said.

Bartness previously served as chief of staff for former Police Commissioner Kevin Davis, oversaw the sex offense unit, served as a department spokesman, and was the Central District commander, among other positions.

The academy was recently overseen by Margaret Barillaro, who was appointed in January after Major Marc Partee retired.

Overseeing the training academy is a crucial position as the department aims to hire more officers to bolster its depleted patrol ranks, and as more officers must undergo more training under the federal consent decree. The number of hours current officers will spend in training will increase from 23 hours to 40 a year.

Officer training is also changing, with increased “scenario-base” instruction.

The department has recently assigned 10 additional, full-time personnel to the academy, and is in talks with the University of Baltimore to relocate the police academy to the school’s campus.

Baltimore Sun reporter Kevin Rector contributed to this article.

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