Increasing public safety in Baltimore through building transformative community and police relationships


Author/Creator ORCID



Type of Work


University of Baltimore. College of Public Affairs


University of Baltimore. Master of Science in Criminal Justice.

Citation of Original Publication


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
This item may be protected under Title 17 of the U.S. Copyright Law. It is made available by the University of Baltimore for non-commercial research and educational purposes.


The Baltimore Police Department (BPD) is required under a federal consent decree to commit to community policing principles and establish a partnership with the community. This paper addresses three research questions related to the required change: Are the community and BPD ready for transformative relationships, what matters to the Baltimore community in informal and formal engagement, and what is necessary for BPD to collaboratively produce public safety solutions with the community. A qualitative analysis and triangulation were performed on three data sources: BPD staff focus groups on community policing; focus groups, interviews, and public forums on community policing with community members; and observations of BPD-community monthly district meetings. The data contained almost 2,000 references which were coded into 84 categories that addressed the research questions. The findings are mixed. BPD is not ready for change; what matters to the community, and BPD staff, is simply positive interactions with each other; and to collaborate on public safety, BPD must view residents as subject matter experts and embrace them as part of entire decision-making process.