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Bill seeks to extend deadline for state Gun Trace Task Force commission's work

The timeline for a state commission’s investigation into the Baltimore Police Gun Trace Task Force scandal would be extended another year under a bill put forth by key legislators.

The panel, called the Commission to Restore Trust in Policing, is supposed to submit a final report by the end of this year, but bills filed in the Senate and House of Delegates would push the deadline for the final report until Dec. 31, 2020.

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The panel’s work has been building slowly, with its monthly meetings largely consisting of information sessions. Most recently, leadership of the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office appeared in Annapolis to testify before the panel, and the commission members met in closed session to discuss hiring outside counsel to aid their work.

Eight city officers who worked on the Gun Trace Task Force were convicted of federal racketeering charges for stealing money from citizens, lying on official reports and taking unearned overtime pay. Testimony in the federal trial of two officers revealed many of the convicted officers were stealing for years; the leader of the unit, Sgt. Wayne Jenkins, was also dealing drugs taken off the street by his squad.

The officers are serving federal prison sentences ranging from seven to 25 years. Former Det. Jemell Rayam will be sentenced March 8, while another officer from Philadelphia who used to work in Baltimore and was implicated in the scandal, has yet to be sentenced.

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