The Baltimore County Mediation Center will serve on the city’s consent decree monitoring team and develop a team of diverse volunteers from through Baltimore to ensure “… appropriate and authentic community engagement”.
The volunteer panel will be organized by Shantay Guy, the center’s executive director. The goal of the panel is to help the center better understand “… what engagement looks like for the community”.
According to a statement issued by the mediation center, “Community engagement is one portion of the consent decree mandate, and Baltimore Community Mediation Center is proud to focus on that engagement and provide a channel for meaningful feedback as the monitoring team works on policy and implementation”.
The panel was added to a team that Baltimore and US Department of Justice officials created to monitor the implementation of the consent decree after there was not a single applicant that met all of their needs. The mediation center has been in business for more than 20 years and was not part of an applicant team, but did facilitate conversations between community members throughout the selection process.
The team is led by monitor Kenneth Thompson, a Baltimore-based attorney from Venable, and principal deputy monitor Charles Ramsey, a former police chief in Philadelphia and DC. Ramsey also served as co-chair of President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. There has been no public statement from Ramsey or Thompson concerning their involvement on the team.
The mediation center issued a statement calling it an honor to be part of the team. Those involved believe their efforts to engage under-served and unheard communities “… will be a critical factor in the overall success of the consent decree initiatives”.