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P. Kenneth Burns

A report issued four years ago by the Baltimore police union expressed the same concerns about zero-tolerance enforcement and training issues as the caustic Justice Department report on the Baltimore Police Department two weeks ago.

In fact, the federal report cited several times a “Blueprint for Improved Policing” published by the city Fraternal Order of Police in 2012.

Tom Moore

Saturday marks the 240th anniversary of the Battle of Brooklyn. Local history lovers call this Battle Week. A few days before and after the actual date of this Revolutionary War battle, August 27th, 1776, they get together to mark the event, with re-enactments, talks, exhibits, neighborhood walks, lots of waving of old flags, music and more.

One event features colonial cocktails and another invites families to join in for lots of trivia and games including a “Brooklyn vs. Britain” scavenger hunt.

But what few of them seem know is that a group of Maryland Continental Army soldiers, known as the Maryland 400, played a key role in the fight.

The chief spokesman for Baltimore police insists that a trial program in which a manned plane with cameras flies over the city and feeds information to law enforcement was not a secret.

John Lee

It was a picture perfect day, not a cloud in the sky, as Loch Raven High School Principal Bonnie Lambert greeted students as they entered the building, wishing them a "happy new year" on the first day of school after the summer break.

Karen Salmon, Maryland’s State Superintendent of Schools, said what’s great about education is that they get to start over every year.

"And we get to do it right," she said "So it’s really just the best." 

Fraser Smith

    

A short stretch of South Arlington Avenue could go a long way toward promoting togetherness and a higher quality of life in the neighborhoods of the Southwest Partnership. The proposed South Arlington Avenue Greenway would pull the seven neighborhoods together. At the same time it would introduce visitors to area attractions – the popular Mobtown Ballroom, the Edgar Allan Poe House and the B&O Railroad Museum. 

Arash Azizzada

The Maryland Legislative Black Caucus and the NAACP announced a new legislative agenda last week, following the release of a U.S. Department of Justice report chronicling a system of discrimination in the Baltimore Police Department. Changing police recruitment practices was on the list.

“We will mandate and oversee the recruitment of officers by the Baltimore Police Department and require Baltimore residents, particularly African Americans and women, to be recruited and hired to fill the more than 3,000 officer positions comprising the agency,” state Del. Jill Carter, a Democrat who represents northwest Baltimore, said at the Black Caucus’ press conference.

But even before the report’s release, the Baltimore Police had begun building efforts to recruit from communities that haven’t historically attracted many applicants.

Aaron Webb / Flickr / Creative Commons

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is pledging at least $1 million in grants to help groups that serve victims of sexual assault in Baltimore after the Justice Department found the police department's responses to sexual assault "grossly inadequate."

The Republican governor said Thursday that the money represents immediate action to improve services to victims.

    

Fraser Smith and Andy Green, editorial page editor of the Baltimore Sun, take up former Mayor/Governor Martin O'Malley's defense of "broken windows" policing that was so sharply criticized in the recent Department of Justice report on the Baltimore police department.

The Department of Justice’s 163 page report describes officers and sergeants acting as if they had a blank check to do whatever they wanted in the inner city neighborhoods; using unreasonable force against people who represented little or no threat, making warrantless arrests without probable cause, conducting illegal strip searches, sometimes in public.

Soon the DOJ, the city, the police department, and community leaders will get to work on the court-ordered mandatory consent decree that’s should be finalized November 1.

P. Kenneth Burns

The Baltimore City Council sent a bill raising the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour back to committee Monday. And it looks like it may not come back out before the next city council takes office in December. 

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