Baltimore, MD – Four Campaign for Justice, Safety & Jobs (CJSJ) members were amongst those confirmed into the General Assembly’s mandated advisory board tasked with studying local control of the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) and its transfer from under the authority of the State of Maryland to Baltimore City. CJSJ members Ray Kelly at Citizens Policing Project, Tré Murphy at NAACP-LDF, Lydia Walther-Rodriguez at immigrant rights organization CASA, and Caylin Young at ACLU-MD will be instrumental in uplifting community voices and demanding the best form of local control that speaks to over six years of advocacy the CJSJ coalition has done to push the matter of local control forward.
CJSJ is thankful for the strong support for local control from the Mayor's office and will continue to strive to push for local control sooner rather than later, as the matter could be finalized as early as 2023 or as late as 2025, based on the legislation that was passed during the 2021 General Assembly.
After the confirmation of four CJSJ members, the coalition issued the following statement:
“We are proud to say that our years of advocacy and organizing are bringing local control of Baltimore Police Department (BPD) to fruition. We are the closest we have ever been to achieving this possibility for our city, and we will continue to lift community voices forward to achieve the best possible form of local control — and to ensure it passes by 2023 rather than 2025. Currently, we as a city are at a disadvantage in reforming our policing system due to the lack of local control. Transferring control of BPD back to Baltimore City will allow us to stop looking to Annapolis for the accountability we need to reform the Baltimore Police Department, under the DOJ Consent Decree and beyond. Currently, the only authority over the police department lies in the Mayor, who only has the power to hire and fire the Police Commissioner and allocate budget. We know local control will place our city in a better position to continue advocating and striving for much needed police reform, as we will be able to hold accountable the local leaders and municipality we democratically elected into office.
“Yet, the fight to win local control does not end with the advisory board, as the matter of local control will transition to the election ballots as early as 2022. We must continue to organize our communities and ensure we can win at the ballot boxes, as local control is a much needed step to ensure future possibilities of police reform, accountability, and reimagining public safety in our city.”
Learn more about the Campaign for Justice, Safety & Jobs:
The Campaign for Justice, Safety, and Jobs is a diverse group of community, faith, civil rights, and community leaders who have come together to raise our voices together in a call for Police Reform. The group convened in April of 2015 in the wake of Freddie Gray’s murder at the hands of Baltimore Police officers to address the systemic issues that were unearthed in Freddie Gray’s death and the subsequent uprising throughout the city. To date, the campaign includes over 30 powerful organizations representing thousands of Marylanders from Baltimore, including a diverse combination of local grassroots youth organizations, policy advocates, faith instructions, and labor unions.