War of Words Between City Police Union And Baltimore Police Department
BALTIMORE (WJZ)-- The president of Baltimore's police union says the City police department has no long term plan to fight crime.
Fraternal Order of Police Union President Lt. Gene Ryan says city officers are working too much overtime and are exhausted.
Something he says puts police and citizens in danger.
The criticism comes as the City's homicide total is on the rise.
As Baltimore enters the summer, a season known for spikes in violent crime, the homicide total is already climbing fast with 161 homicides in the first six months of 2017.
Last week, a violent spree, left six people dead and several others shot in a 24-hour span.
The bloodshed led to temporary 12-hour shifts and canceled weekend leave for all patrol officers.
"The 12-hour shift was a Band-Aid approach," Ryan says. "Our men and women of this police department are overworked."
Ryan says the police department doesn't have a long-term plan to fight crime. He stopped short of mentioning police commissioner Kevin Davis by name, but the City's top cop is speaking out, saying he does have a plan.
"It's convenient to sit on the sidelines and criticize something that you don't understand because you intentionally choose not to understand it," Davis says. "Focus on violent repeat offenders focus on finding on better solutions for violent youthful offenders."
There is one thing the police union and commissioner Davis agree on, the department is short-staffed and needs more officers.
Councilman Brandon Scott says more needs to be done to reduce gun violence.
"We have to make changes to the strategy that's happening today because it's not working," Scott says.
The FOP plans to collaborate with business, political, and community leaders to find a sustainable solution.
Mayor Catherine Pugh says her door is open.
"I have a police commissioner who's working on behalf of all of the citizens of this city. We're going to reduce violence in this city. But it's how we collaborate and work together," she says.
The FOP says there are 500 fewer officers today in Baltimore than in 2012 and that recruitment should play a role in any strategy.
The City and police union are currently in negotiations. One thing that's on the table is a five days on, two days off schedule.
Instead of the current 10-hour shifts with three days off.
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