Michael Harrison, the Baltimore police commissioner since 2019 who brought stability to a position that churned through four commissioners in less than four years, will step down, the Baltimore Banner reports. Mayor Brandon Scott announced he he will nominate Rich Worley, currently the deputy commissioner for operations, as interim BPD Commissioner and intends to nominate him to the position permanently. Scott said he and Harrison have had “numerous conversations over the past few weeks” about the future of the department. “And over the course of those conversations, it became clear to both of us that this was the right time to make this transition,” the mayor said.
Harrison, 54, previously led the New Orleans Police Department, where he helped shepherd that department through a federal consent decree. He repeated the process in Baltimore, earning a national reputation as a police leader who leaned into reforms and emphasized community policing. But stubbornly high rates of violent crime often clouded Harrison’s message about the Baltimore Police Department, which he lately has marketed as “the greatest comeback story in America.” He had faced intensifying rumors and questions that he would depart for another job — which he denied — and refused to commit to staying through his term when pressed during a city council budget hearing earlier this week.