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Next Baltimore Police Commissioner Picked in Rushed Process

Baltimore’s likely next police commissioner was named to the interim post after a tumultuous 36 hours behind the scenes, The Baltimore Banner reports. Now-former Police Commissioner Michael Harrison told Mayor Brandon Scott in May he would be resigning and gave 90 days’ notice. But, less than a month later, he announced he was stepping down immediately and Scott named Richard Worley, a 24-year veteran of the department, as acting commissioner and his designated pick for the permanent position. Harrison said his departure was his choice and that the timeline was hastened by questions about his future.

Even though he tried to keep his departure a secret from all but a tiny circle, including the Maryland governor, there were rumors Harrison was departing for the chief position in Washington, D.C. Harrison was asked by a city council member at a budget hearing on June 6 if he planned on serving out the rest of his contract, and Harrison said, “[I have] said no to many opportunities that have come, but there may be a consideration that I may have to consider if it comes, if and when it comes, I may have to make that consideration.” Multiple sources said that the budget hearing drama prompted Gov. Wes Moore to call Mayor Scott, which irked Scott and prompted him to hasten Harrison’s exit. Worley said he received a call on June 7 informing him that he had been selected as the next police commissioner. The public announcement occurred at 9 a.m. the following day. Scott said he intends to formally nominate Worley before the next City Council meeting. Some community groups, including the NAACP, have expressed frustration that there wasn’t a more open process of choosing the next commissioner. Scott said the city intends to hold forums in the nine police districts but that he believes he needed “to show strong, steady leadership.”


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