Baltimore City Takes Historic Steps Toward Police Autonomy

On Wednesday, October 27th, Baltimore City’s Local Control Advisory Committee convened for the first time to discuss how the City might assume full control over the Baltimore City Police Department (BPD).

Earlier this year, the Maryland General Assembly passed a number of police reforms under the Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021, including SB 786 (Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021 – Baltimore City – Control of the Police Department of Baltimore City). SB 786, among other measures, revises state law to ensure BPD is an “instrumentality of the City of Baltimore” and not the state, also grants local control provided two requirements are met:

  • Passage of an amendment to the Charter of Baltimore City providing for the transfer and its ratification by the voters of Baltimore City;
  • Establishment of an Advisory Board on the Transfer of Control of the Police Department to study issues related to the transfer.

At the October 27th meeting, the Local Control Advisory Committee began envisioning the transfer of control. Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott is quoted in the Baltimore Sun as saying:

“Think about, ‘What do you want to see accomplished by this board?’” Scott directed the group. Are there critical issues that must be addressed, he asked. Who would it be helpful to hear from?

Another meeting, held this past Monday, November 8th, saw the election of a chair for the Committee: Dana P. Moore, Baltimore City’s Chief Equity Officer. The Committee also discussed potential subcommittees and their respective missions.

The next meeting of the Baltimore City Local Control Advisory Committee is set for Tuesday, November 30th at 5:30pm.

Learn more about the Local Control Advisory Committee.

Read the full Baltimore Sun article.