By Meghan McCorkell
October 12, 2016
BALTIMORE (WJZ)–Baltimore City police have partnered with Morgan State University to try and heal the divide between police and the community.
A damning DOJ report released two months ago revealed systemic discrimination within the Baltimore City Police Department.
Now, the department is trying to make a change.
On Wednesday, dozens of veteran officers went back to class at Morgan State University.
The subject: Cultural competency.
“We’re trying to do something to improve those communication lines between our youth and our elderly and our police and our community,” said Dr. Anna McPhatter, dean of social work at MSU.
The university has teamed up with police to try and heal the divide.
“I think Baltimore is a model city to build a bridge between police and community,” said Dr. Kevin Daniels at Morgan State University.
Daniels met with Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis to form the program to bring community policing to a younger generation.
“It was done before and it can be done again. With the current generation I believe we can have something real strong and positive,” Daniels said.
The commissioner has committed to adopting a legally binding consent decree of reforms.
“It will last beyond the mayor beyond me. It will be a lasting legacy for policing in the city of Baltimore,” said Davis back in August.
City police are now working with the Department of Justice to figure out just what will be in the consent decree.
These classes are a first step in that process.
“I think that it’s very good to learn how to communicate with other people of different generations, that way we can create that space, we can create that relationship,” said Baltimore Police Officer Chantell English.
And create a new chapter for policing in Baltimore.
Police hope to finalize the consent decree by November.
Next month, Morgan State will hold another session with the newly graduated cadets of the police training academy.