(Baltimore, MD) – On October 3, 2017, Judge James K. Bredar appointed Kenneth L. Thompson, together with a team of experts, to be the Independent Monitor of the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) under the BPD’s Consent Decree with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). The role of the Monitoring Team is to provide technical assistance to the BPD as it seeks to implement the reforms required by the Consent Decree. It is also to gauge whether, consistent with the Consent Decree’s objectives, the BPD is achieveing those reforms by making tangible changes in its policies and practices for the benefit of Baltimoreans. The Monitoring Team includes specialists in policing and police reform, civil rights enforcement, psychology, social science, organizational change, data and technology, and community engagement.
Within the first 90 days of its appointment, the Monitoring Team is required to work with BPD and DOJ to devise an initial Monitoring Plan. The Plan, once finalized, will be submitted to Judge Bredar for his approval.
As it formulates the Plan, the Monitoring Team will work to assess the views of community members. The Monitoring Team will first convene a meeting with a diverse and inclusive group of key community stakeholders. With the feedback obtained from that initial meeting, the Monitoring Team will hold four large community forums, one in each of the four quadrants of the City—north, south, east, and west. The dates, times, and specific locations for these forums will be announced shortly. During these forums, the Monitoring Team will inform community members about its responsibilities under the Consent Decree and will seek to gain insight into neighborhood-level expectations about the reforms and reform process envisioned by the Consent Decree. Facilitators at these forums will use inclusive, neutral, community-based facilitation techniques common to community mediation.
The Monitoring Team has created a website, www.bpdmonitor.com, to provide the community with information about the Monitoring Team, the Consent Decree, and updates about the Consent Decree process. The Monitoring Team will also maintain offices in two locations accessible to community members. One location will be the Baltimore Community Mediation Center, 3333 Greenmount Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21218. The other will be announced shortly. To receive alerts and information from the Monitoring Team, sign up for communications at www.bpdmonitor.com or email the Monitoring Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.