Baltimore’s police union is calling for an overhaul of the department, describing the agency’s management strategy as “outdated, ineffective and reactive” and proposing changes that it said would boost officer morale and reduce crime across the city, the Baltimore Sun reports. Though the study has been in the works for several months, it comes as the city seeks a replacement for Police Commissioner Frederick Bealefeld, who oversaw steep declines in gun crime after taking over in mid-2007.
Robert Cherry, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, said the union wants the report to serve as a blueprint for improvements by the department’s next management team. He said, the city’s focus on violent crime can come at the expense of other types that affect far more residents, such as burglaries. Among the union proposals is a recommendation that more officers work in patrol units, which respond to 911 calls. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi disputed the report’s tone and said the department’s way of doing things is working. “We have a recipe for crime declines in Baltimore that’s proven,” he said. “We’re in the process already of establishing nationally recognized law enforcement standards, and we’ve been committed to improving our professional integrity. These things don’t happen overnight.”