Baltimore police are creating a new bureau focused on implementing best practices in ethics and integrity in the department.
Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts announced the creation of the Bureau for Professional Standards and Accountability on Friday.
"In order to maintain a sharp focus on crime reduction and earn the trust of our community, it’s vitally important to ensure our officers meet the highest standards of law enforcement," Batts said in a news release. "This new bureau will focus on employee conduct from the basics of written directives and standard operating procedures, to a new General Accountability Office which will continue to proactively weed out non-compliant practices within the department."
Batts also announced the department has hired Jeronimo Rodriguez as the deputy commissioner. Rodriguez has previously worked for the Los Angeles Police Department where he served in internal affairs and on the Rampart Corruption Board of Inquiry.
The department’s announcement comes a day after State’s Attorney Greg L. Bernstein said his office was declining to pursue criminal charges against three officers involved in the arrest of Anthony Anderson in September. Anderson died while in police custody after his spleen ruptured because he was tackled during the arrest.
"Our investigation determined that while Det. Todd Stohman’s action did cause the death of Mr. Anderson during the course of a legitimate arrest, his use of force was not excessive to a degree that would warrant criminal prosecution; instead, the evidence establishes that the officer used an objectively reasonable amount of force under the circumstances based on the law and BPD training guidelines regarding use of force," Bernstein said in his prepared remarks.