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Over 40 Percent Of Baltimore Police Officers Don't Feel Comfortable Making Self-Initiated Arrests, Survey Says

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Of the 362 respondents in a survey to the Baltimore Police Department, 43 percent said they don't feel comfortable making proactive requests.

60 percent of them said they felt they had been adequately trained, with 40 percent saying they did not.

Baltimore City Councilman Isaac "Yitzy" Schleifer released a survey he said he had sent out to the police department and Baltimore City leadership to "better understand what officers and members of the department are feeling,"

"We need to support our Police Officers and improve morale so that the officers can feel supported and
able to help heal our wonderful city," Schleifer said in a letter within the survey.

Among the questions asked were the officers' ages, years in office, as well as feelings toward the department and some thoughts on what could change, including thoughts on boosting morale.

"The officers at ground level feel that they have no support from command level supervision or elected leaders in the City. They need to know that they are supported by their leaders," an anonymous response said.

Other responses called for fixing the pension changes that have "loomed over the city and department for over eight years,"

28 percent of the officers who responded said they were aged 25 to 34-years-old, with 32 percent in both the 35 to 44 and 45 to 54-years-old. Only seven percent of officers were over the age of 55.

When asked about the consent decree, 74 percent of respondents said they felt restricted by it, with 26 percent saying they did not.

Separately, 56 percent said they fully understood the consent decree while 44 percent said they did not.

To drive down crime, some respondents suggested fully staffing patrol, more patrol cars and investing in resources and facilities for police overall.

"Make sure patrol is staffed. This is the most visible unit in the whole department. The more units on the street the more effective patrol can be. Work with the state's attorney's office on actually getting time for violent repeat offenders. These repeat offenders make up 90 percent of all violent crime in the city," One respondent said.

78 percent felt the department has lowered their hiring standards, with 13 percent saying "maybe" and seven percent saying "no".

When asked what they would tell the next commissioner, some responses said the new commissioner needs to connect with rank and file officers and to avoid being a politician.

"Back your police. Don't just be a yes man in a uniform," One officer responded.

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