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Pugh appoints nine to Baltimore Civilian Oversight Task Force mandated by consent decree

Mayor Catherine Pugh appointed nine city residents Tuesday to a panel tasked with reviewing and recommending reforms to the current system of civilian oversight of the Baltimore Police Department.

The creation of the Civilian Oversight Task Force was one of many police reform measures mandated under the consent decree reached between the city and the U.S. Department of Justice and accepted by a federal judge this year.

Pugh selected the nine appointees from more than 100 applicants, her office said.

The appointees include Denise Duval, 51, an attorney and former deputy housing commissioner from Mount Washington; former state Sen. Ralph Hughes, 69, of Mondawmin; Edward Jackson, 58, a retired Baltimore police colonel from Northeast Baltimore; and Valencia Johnson, 37, of West Baltimore, who works at the Social Security Administration's Office of Disability Adjudication and Review.

Also named to the panel were Danielle Kushner, an assistant professor of political science at St. Mary's College of Maryland; Daniel Levine, 40, of Charles Village, who works as school mediation coordinator for the Baltimore Community Mediation Center; the Rev. Marvin McKenstry, 42, of East Baltimore, who is pastor of Victory House of Worship; and Andrew Reinel, 29, who works with Living Classrooms in Southeast Baltimore.

A ninth person, an attorney from Park Heights, had yet to accept the appointment as of Tuesday evening.

Pugh had previously named Kushner and Reinel to positions on the city's Civilian Review Board. They did not take those positions, which remain vacant.

Part of the job of the Civilian Oversight Task Force will be to assess the Civilian Review Board, which for years has been criticized as ineffective and toothless.

Pugh briefly met with a majority of the Civilian Oversight Task Force appointees Tuesday evening for a group photograph at City Hall. Several said they were excited to begin work.

Under the terms of the consent decree, the task force will meet at least 10 hours a month for the next eight months, and then make public recommendations for oversight of the Police Department.

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