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Crime & Justiceby Mark Reutter10:50 amOct 28, 20140

Police Chief Batts taps ex-Long Beach colleague for police training

Company founded by retired California police lieutenant set to win $28,000 contract before Board of Estimates

Above: Commissioner Anthony Batts during an interactive Q-and-A session with the public earlier this year.

Baltimore Police Chief Anthony W. Batts has hired a consulting firm owned by a lieutenant who served under him in Long Beach, Calif., to teach a pair of classes on “use of force” incidents between Baltimore police and the public.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and the Board of Estimates are set to approve tomorrow a $28,000 contract with Nottingham & Associates to focus on alternative ways to “address high-liability use of force encounters”  in the wake of adverse publicity about police beatings and out-of-court settlements with citizens charging overly-aggressive officer conduct.

The courses “will help to better prepare officers and reduce the department’s and city’s potential risks and liabilities,” according to the agenda item before the board.

Based in Folsom, Calif., Nottingham & Associates was founded by Steven Nottingham, a 30-year veteran of the Long Beach Police Department and a lieutenant when Batts commanded the department between 2002 and 2009.

Nottingham’s Linkedin web page confirms that the firm is “currently under contract to [the] Baltimore Police Department.”

Specializing in CEO consulting, team building and change management in addition to police training, the company was founded just before Nottingham retired from the Long Beach force in 2012.

In addition to the Baltimore contract, the firm says it conducts driver training for the Grass Valley (Calif.) Police Department and consults with the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department, where Nottingham teaches a course on protest law and crowd control dynamics.

According to the BOE agenda, the firm was picked by Commissioner Batts to teach two courses,  “Command and Control Incidents” and “Practical Incident Command Systems,” to instructors who will then train city officers.

“Through this training,” the board item continues, “the department hopes to build in concepts which address alternatives to officers involved in shootings.”

Since hired by Mayor Rawlings-Blake in 2012, Batts has vowed to improve police relations with the community. Last year, he hired a consulting team led by former Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Braxton to conduct a $286,000 strategic review of the department. Their report was unveiled last November.

The report was supplemented last month by a report by Batts on ways to address officer misconduct. It called for additional investigative staff and more powers to the commissioner to root out violent officers. It also recommended that the city form a panel and consider body cameras on officers.

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