Lessons Learned by Baltimore After the Riots in 2015

In the aftermath of the riots and protests throughout Baltimore ignited by the death of Freddie Gray, an independent review has found that the Baltimore Police Department was unprepared and lacked proper training, according to Pulse Headlines.

Conducted by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), the report detailed numerous shortcomings in the police department's response — from inadequate planning, to unclear arrest policies and sudden shifts in command roles. Even the equipment used by police came under criticism, with the shields and helmets failing during use. Many of the findings agreed with those of an earlier report from the Baltimore Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3.

The PERF report also noted that although the Baltimore police department was required to follow the guidelines of the National Incident Management System, due to its receipt of federal funding, it instead chose to respond using an internal response plan, which "lacked specific detail in several areas that are crucial for involved personnel to understand during an incident, such as the assignment of roles and responsibilities.”

While focused on Baltimore, the report did offer some observations applicable to other cities, noting that most US cities have no experience in handling large scale riots, and emphasized the need to prepare for such possibilities.