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California firm with ties to Batts hired to provide police training

Baltimore's spending panel on Wednesday approved a $28,000 agreement for police use of force training with a California-based company that has ties to Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts.

The Board of Estimates approved the agreement with Nottingham & Associates, a firm that's run by Steven Nottingham, a retired police lieutenant who worked with Batts while Batts led agencies in Oakland and Long Beach, both of which are in California.

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Kevin Harris, a spokesman for Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, said the mayor tapped Batts to lead the city's police based on his "knowledge, relationships and ability to draw on these sources to get results here in Baltimore."

Nottingham is a "reputable subject matter expert" with proven results from other jurisdictions, Harris said.

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The agreement covers two training courses on command and control incidents and practical incident command systems, both of which will address "high liability use of force encounters," according to the board.

"The agency believes these courses will help to better prepare its officers, and reduce the department's and city's potential risks and liabilities," according to details on the agreement provided to the board. "Through this training, the department hopes to build in concepts which address alternatives to officers involved in shootings."

An investigation by The Baltimore Sun revealed last month that the city has paid $5.7 million in court judgments and settlements in more than 100 civil suits alleging police misconduct in the last three years. After the report was published, Rawlings-Blake and Batts presented a plan to address police brutality.

Nottingham said he worked with Batts in Long Beach, where he served on the force for 30 years. He said he also worked with Batts as a consultant in Oakland.

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Nottingham said the Baltimore police department selected him to provide the training based on the results he delivered in other cities.

"[Batts] had a need and he knows I do work in that field and I've helped him in the past with good results," Nottingham said.

Nottingham said he also is working with agencies in California and Texas.

ywenger@baltsun.com

twitter.com/yvonnewenger

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