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City council to vet police chief, asking for input from public

Posted: 11:45 PM, Dec 04, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-05 11:17:34Z
City council to vet next police commissioner
City council to vet next police commissioner

Baltimore City Mayor has selected Joel Fitzgerald to lead the Baltimore Police Department.

Before the city council confirms him, several city leaders will head to Texas to find out more about the Fort Worth Police Chief.

Council President Jack Young, Council Vice President Sharon Middleton, Councilman Robert Stokes, and Councilman Brandon Scott, will spend several days in Fort Worth talking to and interviewing the people that knew him and his policies best.

They are bringing a list of open-ended questions and Young is asking the public to send as many as possible to him at City.CouncilPresident@Baltimorecity.gov so he can have them answered.

Colin Jones grew up in the Perkins Homes Neighborhood.

He knows better than most how to handle the streets of Southeast Baltimore.

“I got shot five times once in the neck and face and stuff like that,” Jones said. “I was a victim of crime and I had good guidance when I came home.”

He's turned his life around and become a mentor at the P.O.W.E.R House location for Living Classrooms.

As the city prepares to bring in Fitzgerald as the fourth commissioner this year we wanted to know what people like Jones want in their next commissioner.

When he was growing up he knew the officers in his community.

“They knew all the kids by name and we loved our police officers back then and they loved us,” said Jones. “We had mad respect for them and when they asked us to do something we did it. There was no kickback they knew our parents and all that.”

He said those officers he grew up with are good people, but many of them are retiring early or leaving the department.

“Them being good mentors and teaching them the right way to police a community that really matters. You got some officers still on the force that aren’t really good for the community and their teaching them the wrong way. To keep the good officers on you’ve got to make them feel wanted instead of pushed on.”

Luther James spends 6 nights a week in the streets of East Baltimore handing out meals drinks and assistance for the Salvation Army FeedMore mobile assistance program.

“I see a lot of people going through a rough time and I work along with them and you know listen when they want to talk and I’m out here for them.”

He hopes a new commissioner will clean up the corruption that has plagued the department but said it takes a village to save the city.

“We all got to pull together you know the parents and everybody out here. The commissioner he does a job just like anybody else and he only can do what he can do we got to put it together and do it together.”

We've still got quite a few steps before Fitzgerald could become the commissioner.

City council delegation will travel to Fort Worth from September 9th to 11th to vet the candidate.

There will be two hearings — one for the public and one for the council, starting the week of January 7th.
The council will then have until January 28th to confirm him as the next police commissioner.