BALTIMORE — A former interim commissioner for the Baltimore Police Department has been named the City's next Deputy Mayor for Public Safety.
On Friday, Mayor Brandon Scott named Anthony Barksdale to the position. He starts July 11.
A Baltimore native and Polytechnic Institute graduate, Barksdale rose through the ranks of the Baltimore Police Department to become their Deputy Commissioner of Operations and later Interim Commissioner under former Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
Part of his tenure saw drops in violent crime, including in 2011 when Baltimore saw fewer than 200 homicides for the first time in 30 years.
Barksdale left the department in 2012 for health reasons, and has since served in a number of roles including as Director of Security for Horseshoe Casino.
“Barksdale is one of the smartest, and most knowledgeable crime-fighting professionals that we can bring to the table,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “His track record speaks for itself. He will act with urgency to improve public safety for all of our residents, while continuing our progress on reforming BPD and implement the Consent Decree.”
As Deputy Mayor for Public Safety, Barksdale will oversee the policies and operations of the Baltimore City's Police and Fire Departments as well as the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement, and Office of Emergency Management.
He will also be tasked with leading the implementation of the City’s Consent Decree and Scott's Violence Prevention Plan.
“I plan on hitting the ground running to fulfill the Mayor’s vision for a safer, better Baltimore. I feel the urgency from our residents and promise to work closely with the leadership at BPD, MONSE, BCFD, and OEM to protect our communities in a way that fulfills the requirements of the Consent Decree, engages in proven violence prevention strategies, and emphasizes constitutional – yet proactive – law enforcement,” said Barksdale.
Sunny Schnitzer was previously the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety, but in February accepted an advisory role with the U.S. Department of Justice.