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Board to vote on 275K salary for the next Baltimore Police Commissioner

Community meetings planned next week
Posted at 4:18 PM, Feb 05, 2019

BALTIMORE, Md. — Wednesday morning, the Baltimore Board of Estimates will take up the number $275,000; the salary proposed for Michael Harrison to become Baltimore's next police commissioner.

It is about a 65-thousand-dollar bump from the last commissioner, but Mayor Catherine Pugh says the number is in line with what experts suggest.

"This is bringing in someone from out of town, someone who is retired from leaving their city, leaving the people, leaving his family, moving to this city,” the mayor said, “When we met with PERF, the police executive research team, they told us we would probably have to offer between 300 and 310 and I think we are doing well."

275 thousand is a salary that tops top cops in Chicago, Philadelphia...even New York, in some cases by tens of thousands of dollars.

Still, Pugh says it’s a worthwhile investment she hopes people will begin seeing in person next week.

Several community meetings are scheduled for Michael Harrison.

One meeting is slated for each of the nine police districts in Baltimore with the first one happening Forest Park High School in Northwest Baltimore Monday evening.

It is an aggressive schedule of nearly every night for the next two weeks, a distinct difference from the roll out of Pugh's first choice, Joel Fitzgerald.

"He focuses on community engagement, the need for us to make sure we are constitutionally policing, so I think the meetings will be great...look forward to the public input," Pugh said.

As does Harrison himself.

WMAR 2-News caught up with the commissioner-designate for his first Baltimore television interview a week and a half ago after a non-publicized community meeting in city hall.

"The community meeting was great,” Harrison told WMAR 2-News Brian Kuebler late last month, “People from all walks of life. Every part of the community. Very productive meeting. I look forward to meeting with them again, look forward to talking and listening to all the citizens of Baltimore."

And that includes city council members like Brandon Scott who says the meetings are key for his constituents and every citizen who lives in Baltimore.

"They want to see someone who is a proven crimefighter that can reform the police department and that can come up with a plan that is implemented not just across the city but by district and by neighborhood to reduce crime in Baltimore," Scott said.

But first the city has to define the terms, a process that begins Wednesday with an up or down vote.