BALTIMORE — First order of business for all involved in the Baltimore Police Commissioner nomination process is the well wishes for Joel Fitzgerald and his family, but second is moving forward with his nomination as much as the city council can...beginning Saturday with a soundcheck for the public.
"The point of it is for the citizens to let their elected officials who they put in office, to let them know what they want to see in their next police commissioner and specifically, what they want them to ask the nominee," said Baltimore City Councilman Brandon Scott.
Scott says Saturday's hearing is going forward because quite frankly, there isn't a lot of time.
Per the city charter the council has only three weeks to confirm Fitzgerald and councilmembers need to hear what the public's been thinking.
"This is a critical decision and they cannot expect councilmembers to make that decision without hearing from him, without having him meet with the public,” Scott said, “So...that part has to be figured out."
And so, beginning at 10 o’clock in the morning Saturday, at least the public hearing will go on as planned and some folks in the city are saying it is about time city hall, hears from them.
"I got to tell you,” Sandtown resident Doni Glover said, “I don't have a lot of faith in what has been happening in the process."
Glover is one of the residents expected to be at the public hearing.
He says the process has been far from ideal and shrouded in secrecy, but he and others want it known that the city and its police department need some kind of direction.
"We want to see committed people who actually love the community and we want to see people who actually love the community lead us. Because right now, this is seemingly a leaderless situation," Glover said.
A situation that, even after tomorrow's public comments, may continue to be unsettled in the weeks to come.
The public hearing for Commissioner-Designate Joel Fitzgerald is scheduled in council chambers at city hall from 10am to 4pm.
Public appearances scheduled for Sunday and a city council hearing Monday have been postponed.
The council has until January 28th to confirm Fitzgerald to be the next commissioner of the Baltimore Police Department.