Baltimore Police Job Called Nation’s Most Challengng

The resignation of Commissioner Darryl De Sousa in May left Baltimore searching for a new top cop for the third time in three years. The turnover at the top has drawn wide concern. Judge James Bedar, who oversees the city’s consent decree with the Justice Department to reform policing, warned that, “a lack of consistent, strong leadership can have cascading ill effects.”

“I don’t think there is a more challenging police chief job in the country right now” than that of Baltimore Police Commissioner, Chuck Wexler of the Police Executive Research Forum, tells the Baltimore Sun. “It’s facing a number of challenges: A consent decree, significant crime and issues rebuilding trust.” The resignation of Commissioner Darryl De Sousa in May left Baltimore searching for a new top cop for the third time in three years. The turnover at the top has drawn wide concern. Judge James Bedar, who oversees the city’s consent decree with the Justice Department to reform policing, warned that “A lack of consistent, strong leadership can have cascading ill effects,” and can render the police department’s good faith in the consent decree “almost irrelevant.”

Bredar said the city needs a leader who can not only run the department, but inspire its officers. So who would want the job? “This is a challenging position in a profession that is among the most difficult in the nation,” the city wrote in its job posting. “The rewards for the successful police commissioner are substantial.” City Solicitor Andre Davis says that 10 people have applied. The deadline is Aug. 17. Davis assured Bredar that a commissioner would be named by the end of October. Baltimore appears to be the only major city searching for a new chief. Los Angeles, Seattle and Denver all named internal candidates to lead their departments. Cameron McLay, a former police chief in Pittsburgh who was recently a finalist to lead Seattle’s department, called the turnover in Baltimore a “disincentive.” Calling the job “an extraordinarily high-liability position,” McLay said the violence in Baltimore can be brought under control, but it could take years. Candidates will be concerned they’ll get booted if they fail to turn conditions around immediately.

from https://thecrimereport.org