City OKs contract for outside review of Police Department

November 17, 1994|By Eric Siegel | Eric Siegel,Sun Staff Writer

City officials yesterday approved a $129,000 consultant's contract to make a position-by-position review of the Police Department -- despite a police union protest that the money would be better spent putting more officers on the street.

Police officials told the Board of Estimates that the review by Management Partners of Cincinnati would help determine whether more of the city's 3,100 sworn officers could be shifted from support roles to battle violent crime.

"Can we get more officers on the street? This is our commitment," said Lt. Walter J. Tuffy, executive assistant to Police Commissioner Thomas C. Frazier.

But Gary W. McLhinney, president of the Baltimore lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police, said the money should be used for police overtime. He said budget problems had forced the Police Department to slash overtime designed to put more officers on patrol when people are doing their holiday shopping.

His position on the consultant was supported by City Council President Mary Pat Clarke, who voted against the contract.

"I don't think it's worth the money," she said.

Her criticism brought a rebuke from Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, who said the board should let Mr. Frazier manage the Police Department.

Following the meeting, police officials said the department had authorized $150,000 for overtime between now and Dec. 31 -- the same amount as last year. "I don't know where [critics] got their information, but they're wrong," said Col. Leon N. Tomlin, chief of the Neighborhood Patrol Bureau.

Yesterday's contract was the second that the city has awarded in 1994 to Management Partners, a consulting firm started this year by Gerald E. Newfarmer. The earlier contract, for $20,000, led to a shake-up of the department's command structure.

Mr. Newfarmer is the former city manager of Cincinnati and San Jose, Calif., where Mr. Frazier served before coming to Baltimore in January. Mr. Newfarmer also served as an adviser to Vice President Al Gore's effort to reinvent government.

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