Mayor Pugh Announces Choice for Next Commissioner of the Baltimore Police Department

Crest of the City of Baltimore

Catherine E. Pugh
Baltimore City
250 City Hall - Baltimore Maryland 21202
(410) 396-3835 - Fax: (410) 576-9425

Better Schools. Safer Streets. Stronger Neighborhoods.


James E. Bentley II
(443) 257-9794

[email protected]


BALTIMORE, MD.  — Today, Mayor Catherine E. Pugh announced her selection of Joel Fitzgerald, Sr. to become the next Commissioner of the Baltimore Police Department. Commissioner-Designate Fitzgerald is currently the Police Chief of the Fort Worth Police Department, one of the largest in the Nation and in the 12th largest U.S. city. Mayor Pugh detailed her reasons for selecting Dr. Fitzgerald in an op-ed featured in the Baltimore Sun, which can be accessed HERE.

Joel Fitzgerald, Sr.
Police Commissioner-Designate
Baltimore Police Department

Joel Fitzgerald, Sr. has established a nearly 30-year career in law enforcement, ten of which he has served as department chief. As Baltimore Mayor Catherine E. Pugh’s choice to lead the Baltimore Police Department, he will be come the city’s 41st Police Commissioner. Dr. Fitzgerald became Chief of Police of the City of Fort Worth Police Department in October 2015, where he has led one of the largest police departments in Texas and in the 12th largest city in the United States, with over 1,700 sworn officers and 500 civilian employees. The City of Fort Worth encompasses an area of 373 square miles, with a population of approximately 870000 people, and an annual budget that exceeds 300 million dollars.

Commissioner-designate Fitzgerald (47) was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1971, and was educated at the historic Overbrook High School. He attended Villanova University, where he graduated with a Baccalaureate Degree (B.A.) Liberal Arts. He continued his education at Eastern University, where he earned his Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree, and later earned a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Business Administration.

Fitzgerald gained appointment to the City of Philadelphia Police Department in 1992, and served over 17 years in various ranks before his 2009 selection to serve as Chief of Police in Missouri City, Texas. In December 2013, he became Chief of Police in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where he faithfully served until

In each position, Joel Fitzgerald has demonstrated strong leadership traits while being instrumental in leading the agencies he has overseen to become benchmarks for other jurisdictions seeking to promote community problem solving and intelligence-led violent crime abatement, while cultivating internal cultures dedicated to the enhancement of procedural justice. He has been a reformer who understands the need for approaches and tactics to evolve, while refining strategies that are consistent with the tenets of 21st century policing.

Dr. Fitzgerald is a member of the Major Cities Chiefs’ Association, the Police Executive Research Forum, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and is a graduate of the Harvard University Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program. He completed the FBI National Academy-National Executive Institute, FBI-National Academy-LEEDS Program, DEA (DUCA), Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command, and the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF). During his tenure in Fort Worth, he has been a member of the Fort Worth Black Chamber of Commerce.

Commissioner-designate Fitzgerald and his wife, Pauline Fitzgerald (also a homicide detective in the Tarrant County (TX) District Attorney’s office) have three children (one in law enforcement) and three grandchildren.

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