City police consultants' report was a waste of taxpayer dollars [Letter]

December 05, 2013

Unfortunately, The Sun's recent article outlining a consultant's report on the police department that cost the citizens of Baltimore City close to $300,000 for a document that articulates the very initiatives many of its state legislators had already spearheaded came as no surprise. City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young had every right to be upset, if not livid ("Council president unhappy with Baltimore police plan," Nov. 25).

Though I'm sure most residents would point to Mr. Young's earlier vote on the Board of Estimates approving the expenditure, I am certain that he believed it would move us past what we already knew and give the Baltimore City Police Department a more detailed blueprint for success.

But groups like the ACLU, the NAACP Criminal Justice Committee, Safe Streets and others have already outlined many of the proposed "changes" detailed in the department's latest crime plan.

In fact, the suggestion to support placing wearable cameras on the uniforms of police officers is contained in legislation I have already drafted for the upcoming legislative session — making the police plan document the most expensive piece of non-essential wording since the unfunded mandate known as Thornton.

While my colleagues and I are busy year after year focusing on writing good laws that protect the people of this city, it would benefit all concerned to consult their local resources from within the city first.

Del. Frank M. Conaway Jr., Baltimore

The writer, a Democrat, represents Baltimore City's 40th Legislative District in the Maryland House of Delegates.

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