Alvin O. Gillard, director of the city community relations commission, said he hopes police will look more closely at the community impact.
"Unless there's some compelling reason, I don't know if it's going to be helpful in rebuilding that [trust]," Gillard said.
Many Baltimore-area law enforcement agencies report names of officers involved in shootings. Anne Arundel County releases the information within 12 to 24 hours. Baltimore County police release information on the judgment of its media relations office. Maryland State Police and the Harford County Sheriff's Office decide case-by-case, typically taking the officer's assignment into consideration.
Maj. Andrew Ellis, commander of the Prince George's County police public affairs office, said his department waits 24 hours after a shooting, then publishes information on the department's Web site.
"We believe it is in the public interest for our residents to know when our officers use deadly force," Ellis said. "Our officers are public agents. One thing the chief has promised is that there will be transparency with our agency."
In other big cities, policies are split on the issue. Washington Metropolitan police release officers' names depending on the circumstances; Los Angeles police are under orders from the city's police commission to release the names of officers, even if they were working undercover.
Boston police do not release names until an internal investigation is complete. Police in Detroit, Philadelphia and New York do not divulge names at all, officials said. The FBI also withholds names.
"That's basically for the safety of the agent in question, as there may be individuals who may try to retaliate against that agent," said FBI spokesman Bill Carter. "The names do get out, in many instances, [when] the [local field offices] will look at it to determine if it was a rightful shooting. But we do not as a policy."
Many critics of Baltimore's policy change noted that officers involved with shootings are often taken off the streets while a review is conducted, reducing the danger of retaliation.
Moreover, critics said, knowing the identity of police officers is crucial to public accountability.
"In the aftermath of a shooting, citizens would be interested in whether there's been any other incidents related to that officer," said David Rocah, a staff attorney with the Maryland chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. "That would seem like extremely important information, and there would be no way to know that unless you have the name."