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City council committee approves Harrison to be next BPD Commissioner

Council members will vote next on Monday
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Posted at 7:57 PM, Mar 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-07 07:57:29-05

BALTIMORE, Md. — Acting Baltimore City Police Commissioner Michael Harrison is now one step closer to becoming the Baltimore City Police Commissioner.

The city's Executive Appointments Committee has voted 'yes' to allow Harrison to become the next BPD Commissioner.

Harrison fielded questions from the public and then answered several questions from the Council members that are on the committee.

"I’m now telling our officers in no uncertain terms that I want them to be proactive," said Harrison. "When they see laws being broken they will be expected to get out of their cars to engage the people and take the appropriate actions. Even when there are no violations, we still want them to get out of their cars and engage our residents in a none enforcement capacity."

Councilman Isaac "Yitzy” Schleifer pointed to a survey his office did that showed low morale in the police force and asked how Harrison would address that.

“Making sure there was an open line of communication between them and me," said Schleifer. "Making sure I heard their concerns not through a chain of command but directly. They can hear my mission my message and my vision that I can’t give them in a small amount of time directly.”

Councilman Ryan Dorsey asked Harrison how to get rid of the stigma of "snitching" to police.

“We really have to change that dynamic because it is their safety we’re actually trying to provide. We want to make sure we can change that culture," said Harrison. "I don’t think it’s easily changed as long as they have negative perceptions of the police department.”

Harrison is currently serving at the city's Acting Commissioner since the departure of former Acting Commissioner Gary Tuggle.

Now that the committee has approved the nomination, the next step is a vote with all the city council members. Officials say the vote is scheduled for Monday, March 11.