DeSousa to Make Changes to BPD | WYPR

DeSousa to Make Changes to BPD

Feb 2, 2018

Baltimore City Mayor Catherine Pugh and Acting Police Commissioner Darryl DeSousa present their updated violence reduction initiative to state lawmakers.
Credit Dominique Maria Bonessi

With scathing revelations coming out of the Gun Trace Task Force trials daily, a record year of violence in 2017, and increased mistrust between the police and community, Acting Commissioner Darryl DeSousa has a lot of work on his hands. DeSousa discussed plans to change his department with state lawmakers Friday.

DeSousa said his immediate goal is to build trust and transparency between the police and community.

“The first part of the 21st Century Policing Task Force—I’m a firm believer in pillar number one—which is building trust and transparency," said DeSousa to lawmakers. "And then the last pillar of the policing model is officer safety and wellness.”

He wants to put more officers on the streets and detectives in police districts.

“It is going to be able to let the detectives, officers, and district commanders share intelligence at a quicker pace," said DeSousa.

By Monday he plans to announce restructuring of relations between police management and rank-and-file officers. Councilman Brandon Scott, chair of Baltimore’s Public Safety Committee, said that he would like to see more local oversight of the police.

“The way the police department’s oversight structure is stated right now is it makes it impossible for them to be overseen," said Scott.

Scott and other state lawmakers are pushing to restore oversight of the police force to the city council, mayor, and residents. Scott also said he would like DeSousa fire Lieutenant Ian Dombrowski, head of BPD’s internal affairs unit, for improperly paying officers overtime for finding guns as part of the Gun Trace Task Force.

Delegate Curt Anderson, Head of the Baltimore City Delegation, also pushed DeSousa on a timeline for the investigation of the shooting death of Detective Sean Suiter. DeSousa replied that he has not acquired a timeline yet.