State Support Sought for City’s DOJ Mandates

Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has submitted a $30 million budget request to the Governor seeking state support to assist the City in implementing police reforms mandated by the Department of Justice.

ABC2 News reports:

Using other DOJ cities as a guide, Baltimore is figuring to spend anywhere from $5 to $10 million a year on reforms. It’s a projected cost that remains fluid until Nov. 1, when the deal is finally struck.

“Until we have an agreement, until we have a road map forward, we don’t know exactly how much it costs, but we do our best to give an estimate based on consent decrees around the country,” said Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

Mayor Rawlings-Blake is asking for an assist from the governor to help shoulder the burden of the state’s largest police department.

“My view of that is that Baltimore City is a part of the state of Maryland. It is the economic engine in the state of Maryland. So, just as our infrastructure is important to the well-being of the state of Maryland….so is public safety in our city,” she said.

The Baltimore Sun reports on some of the specific requests:


For the Early Warning System, Rawlings-Blake has requested $8 million in fiscal 2018, then $3 million a year through fiscal 2022, based on the cost for implementing a similar system in New Orleans.

The mayor asked for $9 million for police stations in fiscal 2018, noting that the city believes it will be able to attract matching contributions from the private sector. She did not specify the private partners. Earlier this year, local business leaders — including from Under Armour, the Baltimore Ravens and Wells Fargo — committed $2.4 million to renovate the Western District station, where Gray was found unconscious.

For the hiring of sexual assault response coordinators, the mayor asked for $300,000 in fiscal 2018, then $200,000 per year through fiscal 2021.

The mayor asked for $1.9 million for the mobile data terminals in patrol cars and another $500,000 for additional hardware that would allow Baltimore officers to “share information efficiently” with other state agencies.

The mayor also asked for $815,000 to fund a “Crisis Intervention Team” of mental health professionals who would train police officers to handle people with mental illness, addiction, or both.

The ABC2 article notes that the Governor’s office released a statement that it is reviewing the budget request.

For more information:

Rawlings-Blake Asks State to Help Pay for Baltimore Police Reforms (ABC News)

Rawlings-Blake Asks State for $30 Million to Help Baltimore Pay for DOJ-Mandated Police Reforms (The Baltimore Sun)

DOJ Releases Report, City Looks Forward (Conduit Street)