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City Council members visiting New Orleans to investigate Harrison

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Posted at 5:19 AM, Jan 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-31 07:13:03-05

BALTIMORE — Two Baltimore City Council members are heading to New Orleans to learn more about the mayor's choice to lead the Baltimore Police Department.

Councilmen Kristerfer Burnett and Robert Stokes head will be in Louisiana Thursday and Friday. They're interviewing people who knew Michael Harrison. He used to work as the Superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department.

Baltimore City Council President Jack Young says the delegation plans on interviewing members of the clergy, citizen advocates, business leaders, local law enforcement officials, elected representatives, prominent civil rights attorneys and others close with Harrison.

Once the trip is over, President Young's office will look over the information gathered on the trip and present the findings to the City Council and general public.

Harrison was the top choice by a panel Mayor Catherine Pugh consulted with during the vetting process for the police commissioner position. He eventually was chosen as commissioner-designated because of his prior experience working under a consent decree in New Orleans as well as successfully driving down homicides and violent crime there.

A similar trip was done for Mayor Pugh's original pick to lead the Baltimore Police Department Joe Fitzgerald. He withdrew his nomination earlier this month.

Council President Young says this trip will be far less expensive than the trip to Fort Worth, Texas. The reductions in cost result in about 61.5% savings for the City.

Harrison is scheduled to become Acting Commissioner by February 11. He's expected to attend several community meetings in neighborhoods around Baltimore. Harrison's confirmation process is expected to begin in March.