Commissioner speaks about trainee shooting

Batts descibes incident as 'major breakdown'

BALTIMORE - Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts stood in front of cameras Tuesday morning, admitted protocols were not followed and promised changed would come.

Batts was speaking about an incident last week during which a police trainee was shot during training.

Following the shooting, the police academy in Baltimore was temporarily shut down. Batts said it was because he wanted to make sure he was comfortable with the academy in the wake of the incident. He spoke of early discussions that came out of meetings that happened soon after the incident -- meetings with the union and meetings with officers.

"We were very lucky to sit down with the union and their attorneys," Batts said. "We came up with a procedure that night."

Monday, Major Joe Smith was announced as the new head of training for the department. Batts admitted there will be plenty of pressure on Smith to ensure safety during training, follow protocol and develop new procedures.

Batts was reluctant to speak of the current condition of the trainee due to HIPPA regulations, but he said the officer is doing better than originally expected following what he's described as a "major breakdown" in the department. He described the officer as "strong."

"There is no way we should be walking down this path today," Batts said. "This weapon we carry on our hips, they are not toys. ...Protocols are not for play."

Check back with ABC2 News as we continue to follow this story.

Read more about the shooting here.

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