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Baltimore police hope that a new piece of software may help prevent the circumstances which led to the death of Freddie Gray while in their custody last year.

At a May 24 press conference, Baltimore City Police Department Commissioner Kevin Davis introduced a new piece of software, called the Power Document Management System, or Power DMS. Davis said the web-based program will “ensure greater accountability and accessibility for an agency of our size to manage departmental policies.” 

Departmental policies, and what officers did or did not know about them, were a crucial element during the trial of Officer Edward Nero, which ended with his acquittal on May 23.

According to The Baltimore Sun, Nero’s attorneys argued throughout the trial that he had not been trained in policies which required the seat-belting of detainees before transporting them to a precinct.

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The new software is intended to ensure that every officer, regardless of their rank, is aware of any and all policies as they come out and are updated. To make sure officers know the new regulations, the software will administer a test.

“The test function isn’t something that they’re just scrolling though and guessing that they understand,” Davis said. “They have to take the quiz at the end of reading the policy and have a clear understanding of what the policy is saying.” 

Asked if the software was a response to the Freddie Gray case, Davis said, “Are we aware that shortcomings have existed in the Baltimore City Police Department? Yes. Are we aware of particular circumstances that have highlighted those deficiencies? Absolutely and I think that we are reacting to that responsibly by making improvements.”