Put Me in Coach

Last night at dinner, a few friends accused me of being an armchair quarterback. Well Tony, what would you do to stop the violence in Chicago? So, I’m putting on my Raven’s jersey and I’m blogging with a no huddle offense. Obviously, Chicago should never be in this situation. But it is what it is and now it’s time to take action! Let’s go!

As a former Deputy of Operations, I was the offensive coordinator for the team. Here’s my play book:

•Know the Opposing Team…do you have confirmed intelligence on the most violent individuals and gangs? Have you identified the worst areas? Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Have an intelligence meeting where all city, state and federal agencies share information.

• Know Your Team Capabilities…have you identified your most productive officers? Who has solid relationships with the community and a track record of arresting violent offenders? After vetting, assemble the team for the CPD Stabilization of Chicago Effort. Notify Federal law enforcement agencies with operations in Chicago, their participation is wanted.

•Review Your Offensive Plays…ensure your team is abreast of legal issues and trained in de-escalation through critical thinking and basic tactics. There will be police involved incidents and your team must be properly prepared.

•Color Commentary from the Analysts…the Mayor, Chief and his Public Information Officer start a media blitz to advise the public what’s coming. Citizens, community leaders, businesses, churches, schools, hospitals, correction officials, and courts must be notified at the highest levels.

•Kick Off…for this effort, CPD must deploy resources to the worst area for violence. The National Guard should be deployed to the other areas. This is about focus. Don’t have the courage to call in the Guard – there are other options!

•Offensive Line…deploy all resources and be as visible possible. With few exceptions, there are no plainclothes during this operation. Everyone is in their Home jersey!

•Review Instant Replays…inspect deployment and use management meetings to ensure you’re on track. Watch for blitzes and fumbles. If the criminals kill or shoot in your deployment area while on the field, you might be benched. This ensures you are on the winning team.

I can assure you, without a doubt, this will put Chicago in range to take the city into the violence reduction end zone! I’m trying to help. I pray to God someone in Chicago will take my advice.

Anti-Violence Model

A Violence Model That Works

 The more things change, the more they stay the same. Baltimore, Chicago, St. Louis and violence plagued cities in America suffering from violence must shed their cognitive biases. For these cities, community policing alone isn’t the answer. Chiefs and politicians love the image created by the community policing model, but citizens are still being slaughtered.  When I was a young narcotics detective, Baltimore tried community policing under Commissioner Frazier. Now no one recalls the ridiculously high homicide and shooting numbers during that period.

This approach is not rational and defies logic.  Thus the term cognitive biases.  Why are politicians and local police leaders ignoring the flashing warning lights of  high homicide and shooting rates?  Will community policing address this?

Sheriff Andy and Deputy Barney could implement a community policing model in Mayberry, because they didn’t have open air drug markets, violent gangs, stick-up boys, and so many unsolved homicides and shootings, that all one can do is pray for peace. My model turbocharges criminal intelligence gathering at all levels of the underworld, decreases stat driven arrests, lets patrol officers patrol, and gets the most violent criminals off the streets. While at the same time this model assisted overburdened detectives in closing open homicides, shootings, robberies and other crimes. With the help of our federal law enforcement partners and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program, we built solid cases for the United States Attorney’s Office and the Baltimore City State’s Attorneys Office to prosecute. This put a troubled city several steps ahead of the violence cycle, while helping communities get back on track.



An excerpt from the 2005 BPD Annual Report. The circled section highlights the successes due to the deployment of my model. The results are indisputable and got better with time.


Citizens are dying like lab rats, while behind closed doors  some police leaders, academics, consultants and politicians are making cozy big money deals with their alma maters, friends or hopeful future business partners. Recently Baltimore paid Bill Bratton, of NYPD fame, over $250,000 for a plan that had no impact. Newly appointed BPD Commissioner Kevin Davis and his alma mater Johns Hopkins have obtained $500,000 in grant funding to conduct studies and help with the crime fight. So that’s  $750,000 and things have not gotten better.

 In late 2007, the Dixon administration fully understood my model and made me the youngest Deputy Commissioner in the history of the Baltimore Police Department. My model was fully deployed in a single day. It didn’t cost the city a penny and we never released a written plan. Baltimore’s most violent communities were immediately impacted. Fast forward to 2011, Baltimore reached a historic drop to under 200 homicides. Since that time, the department has been in a state of flux.

 I grew up with the violence of west Baltimore, I’ve lost friends to gun violence. We were on the right track and continued to trend in the right direction, until reform and community policing were prioritized over saving lives. Now the crime fight has been turned into a university lab project. With the introduction of new leadership and new strategies,  all the great work has been undermined. I see no exigency or accountability for the spiking homicide and shooting rates. I won’t sit silently any longer.  Get over these cognitive biases, get back to effective policing and utilize my model.  The numbers speak for themselves – it worked!


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