Baltimore replaces police commissioner


Baltimore's mayor announced Friday she has replaced the city's police commissioner, saying a change in leadership was needed to reduce crime and violence more quickly.

DeSousa's appointment will require approvals for the position to become permanent.

He appears to have the backing of the City Council and a number of Baltimore's activists.

"As I have made clear, reducing violence and restoring the confidence of our citizens in their police officers is my highest priority", Pugh said in a release.

"The fact is, we are not achieving the pace of progress that our residents have every right to expect in the weeks since we ended what was almost a record year for homicides in the City of Baltimore", Pugh said in the release. "I need my police department to give me creative ideas".

"Darryl is a student of community policing and understands that the way forward will require a concerted reconciliation process to help fix trust between the department and the public at large", Young said in a statement.

DeSousa didn't say how many more officers would be on patrol, and he at one point declined to say how long this surge would last, other than that it would go "for a while".

DeSousa said his top priority is violence reduction. "It's going to be (an) accelerated pace".

Pugh had backed an assessment made by Davis in recent months which said the department was short hundreds of officers, despite an nearly half-billion-dollar annual budget. We are coming after them.

He said similar initiatives were undertaken twice previous year. DeSousa said he expects the increased police presence to last for a considerable amount of time. The district commanders in all nine districts know who they are.

"I have a real strong message for the trigger pullers". A city initiative to chip away at violent crime by focusing attention on five troubled zones started in October, and the mayor believes it has been paying off.

DeSousa is well-liked by the rank-and-file, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 3 President Lt. Gene Ryan said.

"Today we have an initiative that (officially) started about 30 minutes ago and is specifically created to reduce violence", he added, describing a roll-out of additional officers throughout the day Friday who would be situated in areas prone to violence.

"I'm impatient, we need violence reduction, we need the numbers to go down faster than they are", Pugh said.

The move came after the city endured another record year of homicides, as well as a rash of violent street robberies and carjackings that only cemented the city's reputation as a community beset by crime.

"(Davis) worked hard, but I'm looking for new...ways to change what we're seeing here every day", said the 67-year-old Democratic mayor, who was elected in 2016.

The mayor's office said it was just a "technical issue".

DeSousa conceded culmination of his degree at Morgan State keeping in mind the end goal to join the Baltimore Police Department in 1988 however inevitably got his degree in connected aesthetic sciences in 1997. "I speak for the entire community in expressing our admiration and gratitude for his service to Baltimore and for his leadership of the women and men who put their lives on the line to serve and protect our citizens".

"Baltimore has always been my home and I've spent my career on its streets and in its neighborhoods to address problems and bring about solutions that are meaningful for the people we serve", DeSousa said.

Davis was sacked two years into his five year contract.