Mayor Pugh Selects New Orleans Police Superintendent Michael S. Harrison to Lead Baltimore Police Department

BALTIMORE, MD.  — Mayor Catherine Pugh has selected New Orleans Police Superintendent Michael S. Harrison as her choice for Commissioner-designate of the Baltimore Police Department.

Superintendent Harrison (49) has informed New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell of his decision to formally retire from the New Orleans Police Department which he has served for 27 years and led since 2014. Mayor Cantrell expressed her deep gratitude to Superintendent Harrison for his many years of dedicated service and strong leadership of the department, which has led to meaningful reform and reduced crime in the City of New Orleans. She wished him well on behalf of the citizens of her city.

Mayor Catherine E. Pugh stated: “I have informed City Council President Jack Young of my decision to submit to Council members the selection of New Orleans Police Superintendent Michael S. Harrison as the next Commissioner of the Baltimore Police Department. Superintendent Harrison has achieved clear, compelling and consistent results in reducing violent crime, implementing a federally-mandated consent decree, increasing police recruitment, introducing advanced technologies, and deploying proactive and effective policing strategies that reflect 21st century, constitutional policing.  He will bring not only significant and relevant experience to addressing the challenges of Baltimore, but the insight and sensitivity needed to reestablish essential trust and confidence of citizens in their police officers.”

Commissioner-designate Harrison will participate in a number of meetings with community leaders, neighborhood associations and citizens prior to the formal submission of his nomination to the City Council.  The timing and locations of those meetings, and eventual City Council hearings, have yet to be determined.

“I’m honored by Mayor Pugh’s confidence in my abilities and approach and look forward to getting to Baltimore in the coming weeks to engage broadly with residents about the challenges to public safety and confidence in their police department,” said Commissioner-designate Harrison.  “My first priority will be to drive meaningful cultural change within the Department such that not only is there a renewed sense of purpose and mission among those sworn to protect and serve, but that citizens’ trust is restored to a new level that enables true collaboration and confidence. Only then can we make sustained progress in reducing violence in close partnership with those who have the most at stake.  I am inspired by the approaches Mayor Pugh has introduced to address the root causes of violent crime and disrupt the lure of criminal life among those young people most at risk.  I look forward to partnering with her, the men and women of the Baltimore Police Department, and the community to build on the clear momentum underway.”

Superintendent Harrison first joined the New Orleans Police Department as a patrol officer in 1991 and was later appointed Detective, Major Case Narcotics Section in 1995. He was appointed Sergeant in 1999, responsible for the Eighth District, and later as Sergeant of the Public Integrity Bureau in 2000 where he participated in covert investigations into criminal and administrative allegations involving members of the New Orleans Police Department. He was appointed Lieutenant of the Public Integrity Bureau in 2006. In early January 2009, he was appointed Lieutenant, Assistant District Commander of the Seventh District, and in 2010 he returned to the Public Integrity Bureau. Harrison was appointed Commander, Special Investigations Division in early 2011 as principal manager of all administrative functions of narcotics, vice, organized and unorganized gang enforcement units within the Department. In 2012, he was appointed Commander of the Seventh District, and two years later, assumed the responsibilities of Superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department.
Details of the community engagement and City Council approval process concerning Commissioner-designate Harrison’s nomination will be communicated at the earliest opportunity.


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