For Immediate Release
Contact: Fiona Gettinger, Communications Associate
Baltimore Police Tap CNA to Lead Independent Review Board
BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Police Department announced that CNA will lead an Independent Review Board to review the department’s handling of the murder of Detective Sean Suiter on November 15, 2017. Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa announced that CNA’s James "Chips" Stewart and Dr. James "Chip" Coldren will chair the review board of policing experts, which held a preliminary meeting Thursday to review its goals and objectives.
The board will review the circumstances surrounding the events of November 15, including the full police report, forensic evidence, crime scene information, medical examiner findings, community concerns, release of public information, media response, training policies, crowd control techniques and existing departmental policies and procedures. Over the next six months, the board will conduct its independent review.
“CNA has done this in many cities, and many that have had a police officer or sergeant that has been killed,” said Stewart. “We have helped those departments upgrade and make changes.”
Stewart is a nationally recognized expert on the criminal justice system, including use of force analysis, capabilities evaluation and technological applications such as body-worn cameras. Throughout a long career examining law enforcement tactics and strategy, Stewart has helped many police departments develop and implement violence-reduction strategies involving gangs and drug dealers. Prior to joining CNA, Stewart served as commander of the Oakland Police Department's Criminal Investigations Division and as a White House Fellow during his time as a Special Assistant to the U.S. Attorney General.
Coldren is the managing director for Justice Programs at CNA. He is the principal investigator for a national study of the effects of equipment modalities on correctional officer safety and recently completed a randomized trial with body-worn cameras in the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. He is also the national technical assistance project director for the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Strategies for Policing Innovation Initiative (formerly the Smart Policing Initiative), the Public Safety Partnership (formerly the Violence Reduction Network) and the Body-Worn Camera Training and Technical Assistance Program. Prior to joining CNA, Coldren was a professor of criminal justice and leadership at Governors State University in Illinois.
The board includes Gary T. Childs, Licensed Private Detective; Joseph Ricardo Fuentes (Ret.), New Jersey State Police; Peter A. Modafferi, Office of the District Attorney for Rockland County, NY; Marvin E. Sydnor (Ret.), Baltimore City Police Department; and Charles P. Scheeler, Senior Counsel to DLA Piper. Tammy Felix, Denise Rodriguez, Dr. Laura Kunard, and Richard Tartonski of CNA will serve as staff on the project as well.
In response to a question from the press on whether the investigation would be objective, neutral, and transparent, Stewart said, “That’s what CNA has done for 75 years. We’ve helped lots of agencies improve, save lives, and we’ve found that the best information is what comes from the operations themselves.”
CNA is a nonprofit research and analysis organization dedicated to developing actionable solutions to complex problems of national importance. With nearly 700 scientists, analysts and professional staff, CNA takes a real-world approach to gathering data. Its one-of-a-kind field program places analysts on carriers and military bases, in squad rooms and classrooms, and working side-by-side with a wide array of government decision-makers around the world. In addition to defense-related matters for the U.S. Department of the Navy, CNA’s research portfolio includes criminal justice, homeland security, energy security, water resources, enterprise systems and data analysis, and education.
Note to writers and editors: CNA is not an acronym and is correctly referenced as "CNA, a research organization in Arlington, VA."