Baltimore City Council confirmed acting Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa Monday evening.
De Sousa officially became the city’s 40th police commissioner.
No matter the official date, without a doubt, De Sousa says he’s starting at one of the lowest points in the department’s history.
“Probably the most awful thing I’ve seen in my 30 years here in the police department and I believe it set us back 40, 50 years and the damage it caused – I sincerely from the bottom of my heart would like to apologize,” De Sousa said at his confirmation hearing last week.
Stained with the testimonies of the ‘Gun Trace Task Force’ trial, De Sousa says the department’s reputation is at its most fragile.
In the month he’s served as acting commissioner, De Sousa has promised to implement tighter protocol on overtime fraud, random polygraph testing, and a unit designed to spot and deal with corruption.
“It damaged the badge. It damaged the uniform. It damaged and put us in a greater hole on how the community’s perspective on us is,” De Sousa told ABC2 News Investigative Reporter Brian Kuebler while talking about the GTTF.
In that conversation, De Sousa touched on the ongoing investigation into the shooting death of homicide detective Sean Suiter.
The acting commissioner adding that changing the department’s perception could be a generations worth of work, but it starts with him and the policies he and his staff have put in place,” De Sousa said.
“Young officers, the minute they walk in that door, they’re going to be very much well aware of corruption and ethics. It’s a new module that’s going to be introduced and the officers that are currently on the streets, that same module is going to be introduced during in-service training,” De Sousa said.
Changes on the heels of challenges for the police department that’s already tasked with building a better bridge between officers and the community, and breaking through and busting those responsible for violence in the city.
“Those who commit violent crimes in Baltimore will be caught and will be punished. I’ll say it again those who commit violent crimes in Baltimore will be caught and will be punished,” De Sousa said.