October 19, 2020

Baltimore Sun Quotes Seth Rosenthal on Record Keeping and Staffing Issues Stalling Baltimore Police Reform Efforts

2 min

On October 19, 2020, Seth Rosenthal was quoted in the Baltimore Sun on the record keeping and staffing issues that are stalling the Baltimore Police Department’s reform efforts.

According to the article, the department is inefficient at investigating its own officers, lacks proper records to monitor officers' actions in the field, and has been slow to implement community-based policing measures because of staffing issues. The Public Integrity Bureau, which handles internal investigations for the department, has made strides over the past two years. However, investigations into allegations of misconduct can still take more than a year, and the police commissioner’s ability to discipline accused officers is limited by state law.

Rosenthal, a member of the Baltimore Consent Decree Monitoring Team assisting the department on reforms, said that when the team first started investigating the internal affairs division, "it was clear that the files were largely in disarray" and that it was "in need of a major overhaul." He said that while improvements have been made, the bureau still struggles with its caseload and, as a result, "sometimes doesn’t treat officers the right way."

"You have officers basically hung out in limbo for more than a year because they have a complaint hanging over their head," Rosenthal said.

Click here to access the article.