1/3 Baltimore Recruits Fail Final Academy Tests, So They Get Rid Of It

HollyMatkin

The Baltimore Police Training Academy's head of legal instruction said many recruits haven't met basic standards.

Baltimore, MD – The Baltimore Police Training Academy’s head of legal instruction said that a third of the recruits who will graduate from the academy on Saturday have not demonstrated sufficient understanding of practical legal standards.

“We’re giving them a badge and a gun tomorrow, the right to take someone’s liberty, ultimately the right to take someone’s life if it calls for it, and they have not demonstrated they can meet [basic] constitutional and legal standards,” Sergeant Josh Rosenblatt told The Baltimore Sun on Friday. “Don’t illegally arrest people. Don’t illegally search people. These are not high standards.”

Sgt. Rosenblatt, who is also an attorney, said that he turned to the media after academy leaders refused to address the concerns raised by him and others.

He explained that 17 of the 50 recruits who are being pushed through to graduation by the department were unable to pass basic scenario-based practical tests on legal standards, such as the need to establish probable cause before affecting an arrest.

Four of the recruits were attending the academy for the second time, but were still unable to understand and apply many basic legal concepts after spending 18 months in training, he said.

The testing model wasn’t the problem, Sgt. Rosenblatt explained. He said that he personally implemented the measure two or three years ago, and that there were no problems with prior classes.

But after some recruits failed the legal tests repeatedly, academy administrators reverted to an old, less difficult multiple-choice test, and decided to have the tests administrated by police officers, instead of trainers like Sgt. Rosenblatt.

Every recruit passed the antiquated, less-rigorous test, he said.

“When I said that police officers are not more qualified to test on the law than lawyers are, I was forcefully told that I was wrong,” Sgt. Rosenblatt said.

Acting Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa told The Baltimore Sun that he will be examining the academy’s curriculum, as well as the concerns raised by Sgt. Rosenblatt.

“Under my watch, there isn’t going to be a single police officer who does not satisfactorily pass any Maryland police training requirements,” Commissioner De Sousa vowed. “They won’t be allowed to go on the streets. It’s plain and simple.”

He also defended the use of the multiple-choice test, and said that it met state standards. Commissioner De Sousa did say that he planned to review how testing was conducted on the current class of recruits, however.

“I’ll take a look and that, and we’re doing it really rapidly,” he told The Baltimore Sun.

In the recent past, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh acknowledged that the city was struggling to fill hundreds of police positions. She said that under her administration, officers were being trained and put to work more quickly.

“I was in a position that I had to step up hiring police officers for our city,” Pugh said, adding that her administration had been able dramatically reduce the time needed to “become a police officer.”

The academy’s training concerns came at a particularly instrumental time for the department, which had promised to improve constitutional policing as part of a consent decree following a U.S. Department of Justice investigation.

That investigation determined that officers had made illegitimate stops, searches and seizures, and that a lack of adequate police training was a major concern.

Following Saturday’s graduation, the new recruits will complete eight weeks of training in the field before they officially become Baltimore Police Department officers, the department said.

Comments (26)
No. 1-26
fireslayer
fireslayer

And the system of corruption continues on... politicians seeking quick fixes; future generations will have to fix

sturnman22
sturnman22

The Sergeant is a brave and principled Officer to openly warn his superiors and the public of the attempt to put officers on the street who have not met the necessary standards. If they are allowed on the streets, the community and the City will pay a huge price in the future. DOJ's consent decree would seem to be a sham to allow this to happen.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

This doesn't sound like a new problem at all, but good job to the school head for making it public.

Baltimore is currently involved in a huge police corruption scandal about how they incriminate young black teens with toy guns, among other egregious acts. Seems like Baltimore Police Department has had a long history with passing officers that have no knowledge or care for actually upholding the law.

spclopr8tr
spclopr8tr

And as soon as one of these failing recruits becomes an inept police officer and kills someone, these same administrators and politicians who support the "if the minimum wasn't good enough it wouldn't be the minimum" policy will be scurrying like cockroaches when the lights get turned on.

Oldbarnowl
Oldbarnowl

This is a festering problem in our country...beginning with public schools. Everybody must win ...allow no losers. If someone doesn't meet the standards, bring the standards down to meet them. There's no incentive to do better if being lazy presents the same result.

JBo
JBo

Just set up a table in front of the PD and pass out guns and badges to anyone who wants them. No testing required. The mayor will be happy, the DA will be happy and the city will get the kind of officers it thinks it wants. Training should EXCEED state standards...not just meet it. Officers shouldn't be minimally qualified or almost qualified or close to being qualified. We can do better.

Moktor
Moktor

Hard to believe that Baltimore Police would be accused of carrying toy guns to plant on people! The better method is dismissal. Sorry, but not everyone is cut out for this career, and we can NOT cut corners here.

PeterB
PeterB
Joseph Arnold
Joseph Arnold

I'm wondering what will become to the police sergeant who bought this up? No doubt he will be "reassigned".

sniperbart
sniperbart

Plain and simple. When you lower your standards to meet hiring requirements of certain groups this is what you get. It is sad that today we can't hire better qualified intelligent candidates, but when city hall is telling you that you must hire certain individuals both male and female this is what you get..There are plenty of veterans out there and those with LE degrees wanting to become Police Officers but they haven't got a chance because of hiring standards. This is all going to come back and hit them right upside the head...

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@sniperbart the vast majority of veterans do not want to be LEO after they get out.

Just-My-Thoughts
Just-My-Thoughts

Golly, I can't see anything bad happening if they put those who can't pass a test on the street. Maybe they can carry the bullet in their breast pocket like Barney...

Cathy854
Cathy854

Funny the Sgt. wants to talk bad about the academy after he is let go!!! Some of these people working their asses off their have 1 & 2 college degrees plus been in the military. They passed all the lie detector tests and did everything it took to be where they are plus have $80,000 debt in college they are paying back to protect and serve. They picked Baltimore for all the opportunities they have to offer so don’t listen to the media! These men and women are working their asses off right now in one of the hardest academy around because they are always under watch and the social news! I know because my son is there and we have the college bills and he is getting up every morning for that long drive. Comes home with all the bruises from training. I know what he went thru to get it and it took a lot and he is busting his ass! Not to mention all the good they do on weekends for the community the social media doesnt talk about that do they? Sad... these men and women that make it to this point of graduation deserve it! They busted their asses! That’s my two cents and I’m sticking to it! One Proud Momma! I was their when my son went for his paperwork... I seen how they have each other’s backs one big family! 💙Thank You!

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@Cathy854 why would he get 2 degrees and become a cop, though? It seems like if being a cop is what he wanted to do, he could have forgone school debt and not get 2 degrees.

Cathy854
Cathy854

Because as parents we wanted him to have that education! He always wanted something government and the older he gets this is his calling helping people and we need to support him! I as a mother may not like all his decisions scares me to death but he works down there every day and see’s all those kids and how hard it is for some of them so his Dad and I are like you know maybe this was his calling... he was so smart we have to hope he always makes good choices! He passed all his poly graphs n lie detectors n never was in any trouble not even a speeding ticket so it saddens me to hear this the comments of some! He he has a chance to make a lot of money and a pension. With these degrees now he can do even more! People need to think before they speak or criticize kids have hopes n’ dreams!

10dash7
10dash7

@Hi_estComnDenomn & @Cathy854 - 1st (Denomn) there was a time when those who became police officers did so not because of the pay, but because of the calling. I passed well-paying jobs for a career in law enforcement that kept me driving used cars and living under very restricted means of spending under I was after fifty years of age. I knew the pay when I accepted the assignment and I worked my off days doing individual assignments and side jobs. It was enough to make an honest life, providing an example to others.

What I gleaned from this report is that Rosenblatt's exam included questions that may have been part of the bar exam. Questions pointed to an attorney with no exact answer, other than their suggestion to applied law. These questions being answered by police officers with years of service (let alone a new recruit in training) would be starkly different than that of an attorney's perspective, the two roles are different regarding this one subject at hand. One is to defend an individual from prosecution or represent their causes and the other is to collect evidence, consider facts and if the information leads to the elements of a crime being present, apply charges and arrest an offender. If the questioning is that geared toward law students the police officer candidate in training can be severely handicapped because statutes are defined by legislatures to follow. Defense and Prosecution rules guided by bar exams for lawyers are an entirely different beast, confusing the two in the setting of a police academy may be what is the real issue here. If so, the questions I am curious about are those being in use in this manner.

Cathy854 - I wish your son the very best in his dream and his career choice.

Making it through training is indeed an accomplishment to be proud of, his next more significant achievement will be standing in the face of the public where he will be judged harsher than he has ever in life. People who he never meets will look at him and assess his values by what they see. When there are accomplishments on his part, skepticism will follow more commonly than not. He knows it will. I want you to prepare yourself. Because if he is cut from the right cloth to be a police officer, he will never quit, regardless of the ridicule. I send my best wishes and hope that he will not waver in his spirit, that drive to see everyone as an individual, perhaps a member of their tribe or sect, but in the grander scheme as being the necessary inclusive piece to make this world complete.

Cathy854
Cathy854

Thank you! I hope this mans accusations does not hurt the hard work and dreams of the men n women that just graduated and the ones still training their butts off like my son! God Bless💙

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@Cathy854 thanks for answering, I honestly wasn't trying to criticize. Situations like your son's is why more young adults are starting to take a gap year between high school and college, to be more sure of the direction they want to go in. I wish him the best of luck, because I also joined the Navy, and got out to follow my calling. I'll never down someone for following their own dreams.

B33F24
B33F24

There is a difference between following your dreams and going into a profession that you're just not meant to do. I would have more respect for someone who realized they're not cut out for law enforcement and quit rather than stay in the profession and cause more harm than good. If you cannot pass the exams, especially after going through the academy a second time, there is a huge problem. These were basic tasks 17 people couldn't figure out, things they will deal with on a daily basis. How can you not know when a search is justified? When you can use force? Arrest someone, pull them over, etc...? That's like going into IT and not knowing how to turn on a computer. Baltimore PD is already under enough scrutiny, putting individuals on the street who aren't ready as police officers is not going to bolster the numbers, it's going to create more negative headlines.

Cathy854
Cathy854

Not everyone meets this this profile you are talking about! My son is in the top of his class very smart kid 1st time thru the academy just for your information not sure why people keep saying second time thru! Why the negativity? It’s harder now then years ago! We have lots of family that says they would never be able to get to the point where our son is now! Do you realize the background checks they run and the clean record you need? It took him a lot to get where he is. Where are you people from seriously? He had to pass a polygraph n lie detector as well drug tests etc! Give me a break home many people making comments had to do that for their jobs? You are cracking me up actually b/c you have no idea what you are talking about just like the social media. Try thanking these people instead and supporting them instead of going against them all the time! Now what training does your local police have? Ask yourself that in these little towns... These people are training every day and going to the shooting range doing driving training and fighting training you name
ever single day it’s drills! I’m done defending the academy I’m proud of Baltimore and the job they do and you will always have a bad egg everywhere don’t punish everyone for that one bad egg! And if you have a problem don’t bitch after they get rid of you! You sound like a trouble maker trying to make yourself look good. You need men and women in the academy at all times so encourage people to work hard and want to try out for a rewarding career! Life is what we make it! 💙

B33F24
B33F24
Cathy854
Cathy854 said: Not everyone meets this this profile you are talking about! My son is in the top of his class very smart kid 1st time thru the academy just for your information not sure why people keep saying second time thru! Why the negativity? It’s harder now then years ago! We have lots of family that says they would never be able to get to the point where our son is now! Do you realize the background checks they run and the clean record you need? It took him a lot to get where he is. Where are you people from seriously? He had to pass a polygraph n lie detector as well drug tests etc! Give me a break home many people making comments had to do that for their jobs? You are cracking me up actually b/c you have no idea what you are talking about just like the social media. Try thanking these people instead and supporting them instead of going against them all the time! Now what training does your local police have? Ask yourself that in these little towns... These people are training every day and going to the shooting range doing driving training and fighting training you name ever single day it’s drills! I’m done defending the academy I’m proud of Baltimore and the job they do and you will always have a bad egg everywhere don’t punish everyone for that one bad egg! And if you have a problem don’t bitch after they get rid of you! You sound like a trouble maker trying to make yourself look good. You need men and women in the academy at all times so encourage people to work hard and want to try out for a rewarding career! Life is what we make it! 💙

How do I sound like a trouble maker for stating legitimate concerns? Do you hear yourself? Also, don't tell me I have no idea what I'm talking about, I'm in law enforcement, I know how many background checks there are, psych exams, medical exams, countless interviews, FTO, probationary period, etc... You're making blind accusations based off of a comment regarding an article. The fact that you're so offended by a neutral comment that wasn't at all insulting speaks volumes. I didn't say everyone meets that profile, where is that in my comment? I specifically mentioned the 17 recruits who aren't prepared for the streets. Stop generalizing what I typed and actually read it. Blind support is as bad as blind hatred.

Cathy854
Cathy854

I wasn’t directing that toward you at all it’s all the terrible comments others are saying! You are positive comments. I don’t understand how some ppl’s brains think. It just saddens me. My son tells me mom I’m not afraid to die I’m doing what I wanna do always remember that! He puts his vest to leave it’s such a reality check when he walks out the door!

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@Cathy854 I think everyone is confused as to who you're talking to. Are you just responding to the article?

lds719
lds719

This is probably the one and only time I will agree with you. This site should be covering the federal trial against these shitbirds. They have no place in law enforcement and I enjoy the thought of these thugs having to navigate the prison system. Momodu Gondo is a particular piece of shit because he also sold heroin and used his authority to help the drug dealers.


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