Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis is effectively ending plainclothes policing in Baltimore after the federal indictments of seven officers last week, the Baltimore Sun reports. Known on the streets as “knockers” or “jump-out boys,” the officers were most often seen wearing tactical vests, jeans and backwards hats as they prowled the city for guns and drugs. Davis said they have also been the officers most likely to be the subject of complaints, and he had become increasingly concerned that their style “accelerated a cutting-corners mindset.”
This week, he ordered 46 officers from the agency’s centralized intelligence unit back into uniformed patrol. Another 100 officers in operations squads in districts were ordered into uniform last week. “I’m not a big fan of these modified uniforms, these tactical vests, the T-shirts, the jeans, the baseball caps,” Davis said. “I don’t think it represents our profession the way it should, and I’m doing away with it.” Last week, seven members of the department’s Gun Trace Task Force were indicted on federal racketeering charges. They are accused of robbing and extorting citizens, filing false police reports and receiving fraudulent overtime pay. One of the seven officers was also charged in an alleged drug conspiracy.