Hamm honored for pushing conflict-mediation training...

November 16, 2006

Hamm honored for pushing conflict-mediation training

For pushing city police officers to get training in conflict mediation this year, Commissioner Leonard D. Hamm was to be honored last night with the "peacemaker of the year" award by a nonprofit group.

Caroline Harmon, executive director of Community Mediation Program Inc., said that since January, the Police Department has been referring city residents to their program. More than 2,000 officers, about two-thirds of the sworn law enforcement personnel, have received mediation training from the Baltimore group.

The department began requiring the training for its officers in response to public criticism over its arrest practices. Last year, city police made nearly 100,000 arrests. And this year, the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People sued the department over its arrest practices.

Through Saturday, police had made more than 79,000 arrests - or about 7,000 fewer than during the same period last year.

Gus G. Sentementes

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