Batts: department 'keenly aware' of 'significant' challenges faced by community, police

Baltimore police commissioner Anthony Batts has released an open letter addressing the state of police community relations.

Entitled "Making it Happen," the letter reads, in part, "Working to rebuild and strengthen relationships between police and communities is not a short-term goal; it is a long-term lasting relationship. Our path to rebuild trust has started to see results. A 300% increase in citizens reporting crime, community members volunteering to sit on police promotion panels for the first time in history and the generosity of countless citizens and businesses donating more than $500,000 to help rebuild the Southeast district station House stand as examples."

The letter acknowledges that "many parts of our community are still in pain," adding; "Much of that pain comes from wounds that run deepas we work to fix the problems of today we should never lose sight of the next generation ant he impact that has on the future."

The letter also touches on reforms being put in place to improve police community relations. It notes that more than 25 employees have been terminated as a result of misconduct in the last 2.5 years.

"There is no argument that the Baltimore Police Department has a history in some communities that is concerning," the letter states. "It does not take away from the hard work of thousands of dedicated officers willing to risk their lives to make Baltimore safer."

Press Release Op Ed by Jarron Jackson