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By Peter Hermann | May 15, 2012
The Baltimore Sun's Gus Sentementes reports today on a Highlandtown company building a possible replacement rifle for the M4. The new gun could be used by the Army, as well as by municipal police in Baltimore . While most Baltimore police officers carry .40 Caliber Glock pistols, tactical officers have higher-firepower at their disposal. Gus' story on Adcor, a machine shop best known for bottling equipment, has come up with what is described as a "powerful and durable automatic rifle" that doesn't easily jam. Gus writes: Even if the Army decides to stick with the M4, [Adcor owner Jimmy]
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NEWS
By James B. Astrachan | October 2, 2014
Violations of civil rights by the Baltimore City Police Department are at best a callous disregard for the rights of citizens; at worst, they are criminal. They are also horrendously expensive for the city's taxpayers. More than $20 million has been paid out in the past decade, according to reports in The Sun and Daily Record, to resolve claims that officers used excessive force or engaged in otherwise improper conduct, such as denial of due process, unreasonable searches and seizures and other violations of civil rights.
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NEWS
December 2, 2013
I felt a glimmer of hope when I read that Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts plans to equip some officers with cameras ( "Batts' crime-fighting plan focuses on gangs, guns, violent offenders," Nov. 21). I am a retired scientific photographer, and I have witnessed the value of recording data with a motion picture device. I hope Commissioner Batts succeeds in this effort. This tool could provide more convincing evidence than any eyewitness report. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a movie is priceless.
NEWS
September 29, 2014
Taking their queue from the classic movie "Casablanca," some city officials are declaring themselves "shocked, shocked!" to learn that police brutality is a serious problem in Baltimore. An investigative report on Sunday by The Sun's Mark Puente found the city has paid out more than $5.7 million since 2011 in judgments or settlements of more than 100 lawsuits brought by citizens alleging excessive use of force and other police misconduct. Three years earlier, the city's budget office also raised concerns over its spending $10.4 million from 2008 through 2011 - an average of about $3.5 million annually - defending the Baltimore Police Department against misconduct lawsuits.
NEWS
June 8, 2010
A story in The Sun ("Should cops carry weapons while off-duty?" June 8) quotes Anthony Guglielmi, the Baltimore Police Department's chief spokesman, saying "they (the officers) shouldn't take their guns into a liquor establishment when they know they are going to get intoxicated." Would he rather they leave their guns in the car so they are armed while driving home intoxicated? Will it be OK for the armed cops to show up for duty the next day with a terrible hangover? And would he kindly explain what kind of establishment it would be OK for them to take their guns into when they know they are going to get intoxicated?
NEWS
By Peter Hermann | February 3, 2012
State police have begun talking like real people. Troopers were ordered this week to dispense with speaking in code. Gone is the familiar 10-4 and the unfamiliar (to civilians, anyway) 10-46. Instead, when speaking over the police radio, the trooper is to just say, "disabled vehicle. " It's effort by the cops to streamline communications and make it easier for police in one jurisdiction to talk with police in another jurisdiction. The codes were originally designed to enable cops to exchange information quickly, and to keep prying ears from understanding what was being said.
NEWS
June 9, 2014
I had to laugh as I read in The Sun about the "stroll" by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake ( "Rawlings-Blake, Batts stroll to show safe harbor," June 4). If this was a walk to promote "safety" downtown, why was it necessary to be surrounded by a phalanx of police officers and the city's police commissioner? I think the irony here speaks for itself. However, I salute her prudence. F. Cordell, Lutherville - To respond to this letter, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com . Please include your name and contact information.
NEWS
June 23, 2014
Just when you think you have seen or heard everything in Baltimore, there inevitably comes an incident that tops everything else. It would be heinous enough if the persons allegedly involved in the throat slashing of a defenseless dog were merely citizens, but they were not ( "Baltimore police suspend another office in dog killing," June 19). They were Baltimore City police officers in uniform. Some reportedly watched while one officer pinned the dog and the other officer slit the dog's throat.
NEWS
By Peter Hermann | April 5, 2012
Police and baseball go together like, well, maybe not so much. But cops and criminals are part of this city's fabric, and sometimes get just as much attention, if not more, than the ballplayers themselves. Opening Day gives us a chance to look back at the times our police and our Orioles shared headline at Camden Yards. I'm sure I've missed many, and yes, I know, this list does not include the beloved Memorial Stadium. I welcome any and all additions and contributions: 1. Ripken's No. 8 picked off - Who can forget the four hooligans who in 2009 stole Cal Ripken Jr.'s No. 8 sculpture in front of the ballpark and then paraded it through the city on the back of a pickup truck.
NEWS
By KEN HAMBLIN | April 8, 1991
Denver. -- A poll of Los Angeles residents, taken before Police Chief Daryl Gates was suspended last week, indicates that 58 percent did not favor dismissing him. Another 15 percent said he had to go, but Mr. Gates' supporters argue they are the same people who wanted the chief out long before the Rodney King assault.The poll is likely to foster accusations that Los Angeles is an unsalvageable haven of police brutality against minorities -- made up of a racist white majority that opposes change.
NEWS
September 27, 2014
Regarding your editorial "Cops and cameras" (Sept. 24), in the aftermath of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., many city councils and police departments across the country are considering or outfitting their officers with body cameras. Requiring officers to wear body cameras makes sense. It will make them think twice before resorting to more aggressive tactics in dealing with citizens during street stops and calls for service. And since some interactions between police and the public may lead to charges of officer misconduct, the video feed may help police department internal affairs investigators, judges and juries make more informed decisions regarding an appropriate disposition.
NEWS
September 24, 2014
Legislation introduced Monday in the City Council would require every Baltimore police officer to wear a body camera within a year. Though the proposal leaves many questions unanswered regarding how evidence from the devices could be used, who would have access to it and, not insignificantly, how the new equipment would be paid for, we think on balance that the benefits of the technology far outweigh the costs both in terms of improving police-community relations...
NEWS
September 2, 2014
Reader Bruce Knauff asks why police shoot to kill rather than merely injure or maim ( "Why do police always shoot to kill?" Aug. 29). Such questions come from people watching too many movies. Just like the CSI effect in courtrooms, people think the scenarios set up by Hollywood are plausible in real life. If you're close enough, it might be easy to shoot someone's leg when they're standing still and you are standing still. When you or they are moving, however, you have to aim at the largest part of the body, which is the torso.
NEWS
August 22, 2014
As a former Ocean City rental property owner - and thank God I got rid of it recently - the problem posed by ill-behaved vacationers would be resolved if the cops did their job ( " Ocean City 's rental rage," Oct. 19). I rented my condo on a seasonal basis, and a few years a group from Russia stayed there. Owners have to pay $141 a year to rent their places, $25 of which was for a noise ordinance of some kind. These kids caused all kinds of problems, and the cops received a lot of complaints.
NEWS
By David Horsey | August 15, 2014
The killing of a young black man by a police officer inĀ Ferguson, Mo., and the subsequent military-style police response to protests has illuminated two very disturbing phenomena. One is older than our republic -- racial prejudice -- and the other is relatively new -- the militarization of America's cops. Generally, I have great sympathy for police. They get stuck dealing with all the bad consequences of our shameful failure to deal with numerous social ills, from mental health to poverty.
NEWS
July 28, 2014
We take the Baltimore County Police Department at its word that its officers were just trying to give some helpful tips to a pair of Dundalk activists about the rules of decorum at County Council work sessions and not trying to intimidate them into silence about their opposition to County Executive Kevin Kamenetz's proposed redevelopment of a government building in the community. Even if the meeting earlier this month between three officers and a pair of community activists really was intended as a "polite and friendly way to discuss concerns about protocols," as the police department's spokeswoman put it, the whole business still stinks, which Chief Jim Johnson correctly concluded after reviewing the incident.
NEWS
By Joseph R. Biden Jr | April 16, 2001
WASHINGTON -- President Bush announced plans last week to end our support for police nationwide by slashing the successful Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program. Money to hire new police officers, or to retain officers currently on the payroll, would be cut by more than half. No dollars would be dedicated to adding police to our streets. In this era of surpluses, giving up on the most successful crime fighting strategy this nation has ever seen would be a monumental mistake.
NEWS
September 2, 2014
Reader Bruce Knauff asks why police shoot to kill rather than merely injure or maim ( "Why do police always shoot to kill?" Aug. 29). Such questions come from people watching too many movies. Just like the CSI effect in courtrooms, people think the scenarios set up by Hollywood are plausible in real life. If you're close enough, it might be easy to shoot someone's leg when they're standing still and you are standing still. When you or they are moving, however, you have to aim at the largest part of the body, which is the torso.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | June 27, 2014
When Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts appeared at a recent town hall, a woman stood to ask about police brutality, a touchy topic for both residents and officers. She said she worried for her young nephew, who was frequently stopped by police. Batts' 10-minute answer ranged from the personal to the practical. He talked about his upbringing in South Central Los Angeles, drawing laughs about the fried bologna sandwiches his family ate to survive. He explained why people must sit cross-legged on curbs for officer safety, but understood police interactions can be demeaning for those detained.
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