NATIONAL NEWS

Baltimore police commissioner departing after 4 years; led department through court-ordered reforms

Jun 8, 2023, 6:23 AM | Updated: 6:56 am

BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael S. Harrison is stepping down after four years in the role.

Harrison’s departure was announced Thursday morning at a news conference held on short notice at City Hall.

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said Deputy Commissioner Richard Worley, a longtime veteran of the force, will be acting commissioner.

During a police department budget hearing earlier this week, Harrison denied to Baltimore City Council members that he was seeking a position in Washington, D.C. But he hedged when asked whether he would stay in Baltimore through the end of his contract.

Harrison was appointed commissioner in 2019 and granted a five-year contract, which would have ended in March 2024. He moved to Baltimore from New Orleans, where he led that city’s police department through a reform process similar to the court-ordered changes being implemented in Baltimore.

The Baltimore Police Department was placed under a federal consent decree in 2017 after Department of Justice investigators found a pattern of unconstitutional policing. Harrison was chosen to lead the department through that period of reform.

Prior to coming to Baltimore, Harrison had spent three decades in various roles with the New Orleans Police Department.

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Baltimore police commissioner departing after 4 years; led department through court-ordered reforms