Official: Many police recruits lack basic legal knowledge

file photo of Baltimore City Police badge

The head of the Baltimore Police Department's legal instruction says roughly a third of the latest batch of recruits lack a basic understanding of laws governing constitutional policing.

The Baltimore Sun quotes Sgt. Josh Rosenblatt as saying the recruits "have not demonstrated they can meet constitutional and legal standards."

The department says the recruits will receive eight weeks of training on the streets before formally becoming city officers. But Rosenblatt tells the Sun that 17 of those 50 recruits had failed tests on legal standards related to everyday policing, including basic concepts such as probable cause.

He tells the newspaper that all the recruits passed eventually, but only after legal instructors were removed from administering tests.

Acting Commissioner Darryl DeSousa says he's reviewing the curriculum as well as Rosenblatt's concerns.

Spokesman T.J. Smith responded by stating,

...all trainees still have one additional week of training at the academy and another ten weeks of field training before actually graduating from the police department training academy. That assessment includes real life scenarios that will also factor into their overall proficiency.
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