After scathing Justice Department report, Baltimore Police consult NOPD

Published: Aug. 24, 2016 at 12:31 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 24, 2016 at 1:06 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - "So, we're a very transparent police department, leading a lot of ways in American police reform, transparency and constitutionality," says Chief Michael Harrison.

It's the reason why Baltimore police say they want to use the NOPD as a model in the future. They'll spend the next week learning from the NOPD.

"There's no question that New Orleans has really become a model for the Department of Justice," says Baltimore Deputy Chief Jason Jonathan.

Their trip comes just weeks after the Department of Justice released a scathing report showing a pattern of officers violating the First and Fourth amendments. The report also shows how Baltimore police violated anti-discrimination laws. It's similar to the DOJ report released about New Orleans back in 2011.

"We certainly understand how it feels to have one of those reports by the Department of Justice to outline how your department is going. We've built a robust compliance bureau to help us maintain and get us out of this consent decree," says Harrison.

Harrison says the NOPD is well on its way to complying with the federal consent decree, and Baltimore Police hope they can do the same. They'll tour the training facility and look at what the NOPD calls better supervision practices and reforms. They'll also hear more about the department's body cameras.

"We've obviously seen that it's changed officer behavior. It's changed the citizen's behavior. It's also built a trust with the community," says Harrison.

He points to how the cameras came in handy as they investigated last Sunday's shooting in the Seventh Ward.

"As you know, just this week we had a police-involved shooting that was captured on body camera and dash cam video. We've been able to build trust in the community, so that when we say that something has happened, people believe us. We have a very transparent process to investigate these incidents," says Harrison.

As Baltimore Police began the long process of reform, they say they'll continue to turn to New Orleans as an example of way to improve their department.

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