A Safer City

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, July 10, 2015

Earlier this week, I officially made a change in the leadership of the Baltimore Police Department. It was a difficult decision, but one that I thought was best for our city.

Recent events had placed too much attention on our police leadership, distracting too many of us from what needs to be our primary focus: the fight against crime. I have said time and again that it is a key goal of this Administration to grow Baltimore City by 10,000 families over the next decade. We cannot grow Baltimore without making our city a safer place.

Over the past few years, we have made a lot of progress in the crime fight. Former Commissioner Anthony Batts helped put more officers on the streets during peak periods of crime and he brought more transparency and accountability to policing in Baltimore City. Together, we helped Baltimore City realize the second-lowest number of homicides in a generation. But as we have seen in recent weeks, too many continue to die in our streets. Families are tired of feeling this pain and so am I.  We needed a change.

This week I named Deputy Commissioner Kevin Davis as Interim Commissioner of the Baltimore Police Department. A Maryland native, he is a fourth generation cop who devoted much of his career to the Prince George’s County Police Department. 

As a Deputy Chief in Prince George’s County, Interim Commissioner Davis oversaw the Bureau of Investigations.  His leadership resulted in an increase in clearance rates, ensuring violent criminals were taken off the streets. Interim Commissioner Davis rose through the ranks to become the Assistant Chief of the Prince George’s County Police Department.

Later, as the Chief of the Anne Arundel County Police Department, he made tremendous inroads in connecting with the community. He has continued that role in Baltimore, meeting with community groups and working to build strong relationships with the citizens of our city. His decades of distinguished service and results are exactly what the Baltimore Police Department needs.

Under his leadership, we will continue to take the guns off our streets; we will continue our focus on repeat violent offenders; we will continue to bring transparency and accountability to policing; and we will continue to look for ways hold officers who act out of line accountable for their actions.

The people of Baltimore deserve a safer city. 

Together, with the brave men and women of our police department, who put their lives on the line every day, we will continue our fight against the violent crime ravaging our communities.

Together we will continue to mend relations between our police department and those to whom that have sworn an oath to protect.

Together we will continue to make Baltimore City safer. 

This originally appeared in the Rawlings-Blake Review. If you do not receive the Mayor's weekly newsletter, subscribe here.



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