Police
A Third Of Baltimore Police Recruits Can't Pass Tests On Basic Legal Standards
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February 03, 2018, 09:55 AM
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From the Baltimore Sun:

Baltimore police recruits set to hit the streets with poor understanding of law, academy’s legal instructor says

Kevin Rector and Justin Fenton

A third of Baltimore Police recruits set to leave the academy and hit the streets lack a basic understanding of the laws governing constitutional policing and are being pushed through by the department nonetheless, according to the academy’s head of legal instruction.

“We’re giving them a badge and a gun tomorrow, the right to take someone’s liberty, ultimately the right to take someone’s life if it calls for it, and they have not demonstrated they can meet [basic] constitutional and legal standards,” said Sgt. Josh Rosenblatt Friday.

… But Rosenblatt, an attorney by training, said in an interview with The Baltimore Sun that 17 of those 50 recruits failed to pass scenario-based practical tests on legal standards related to basic police work, such as the need for probable cause before making arrests.

He said all did pass eventually, but only after he and other legal instructors were removed from administering the tests.

Some of the recruits, he said, have not been able to master basic material. Four have been in the academy for 18 months, having been recycled back from previous classes to continue their training, and still haven’t grasped the legal concepts, he said.

“With 18 months of training, they’re still failing to meet very basic legal standards,” he said. “Don’t illegally arrest people. Don’t illegally search people. These are not high standards.” …

Pugh and police officials have said that the department is hundreds of officers short, and is doing everything it can to fill those positions.

Pugh has said the department should have 3,000 officers, and called the fact that it has fewer than 2,000 on active duty working on the streets “really devastating.” …

“There’s rumors out there and urban legends out there about no one wants to come to Baltimore, no one wants to be a Baltimore cop,” Davis said. “That’s all really a bunch of B.S.”

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