A performance evaluation system started by the Baltimore Police Department with transfers of the 27 lowest-rated patrol officers is under fire from critics, who view it as a quota system that could lead to civil rights violations by emphasizing arrests, the Baltimore Sun reports. Criticism from a city councilman and the police union escalated yesterday with disclosure that a lieutenant also had instituted his own unique program giving scores to his officers for performance ranging from one point per traffic citation to 10 for a gun arrest. “This is not good for the city, for the officers or the residents,” said Lt. Frederick Roussey, president of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3. A Police Department spokesman defended its official evaluation system, while noting that the lieutenant’s system had been halted.
The new program is the brainchild of new city police Commissioner Leonard Hamm and his deputy, Marcus Brown. All patrol officers this month were required to tally their enforcement statistics – from parking citations to felony arrests. The officers’ numbers are compared with averages from their squads and shifts. On Saturday, the program was enforced for the first time. The 27 lowest-performing officers – three from each district – were reassigned, at least temporarily, to another district and told to improve.