History & Politics

Revamping the Baltimore Police Department

After facing harsh criticism and plenty of hurdles, the BPD looks to turn the tide.

Senior editor Ron Cassie revisits our April 2017 article “Who Wants to Be a Cop Now?” in which he examined how the Baltimore Police Department was attempting to reform its culture after a 14-month Department of Justice investigation.

For this podcast, we invited BPD spokesman T.J. Smith and Northern District Commander Maj. Richard Gibson into the studio to talk about their backgrounds, the current culture in the police department, and how to attract and retain good cops.

Just over a year since we published our story, the police department has come under even more scrutiny—dealing with issues ranging from the Gun Trace Task Force, Det. Sean Suiter’s death, overtime theft charges, controversial body camera footage, and a homicide rate remains one of the highest in the country.

“Everything’s happening at one time—this is a battleship we’re turning around,” Smith says on the podcast. “But we’re turning it around in a canal.”