Baltimore City Council members voted Police Commissioner Designate Darryl De Sousa closer to a permanent position within the department at Wednesday’s confirmation hearing.
There were mixed reviews about the 30 year veteran during public comment but De Sousa told ABC2, he wasn’t discouraged and that ending corruption, transparency and community policing are at the top of his to do list.
“I’m going to put my best foot forward to fight the corruption in the police department. I realize, by listening to the testimony, that everyone is going to hold be accountable,” said De Sousa.
And the public did not fall short there.
“He’s been in the department 30 years and doesn’t know anything about the corruption that’s been going on?” said Shorty Davis, a local activist.
Questions about corruption and the department’s inner workings were discussed frequently but so was what his supporters call De Sousa’s integrity and experience.
“The effect is a positive feeling that things will change for the better. He’s a veteran, people know him,” said Councilwoman Mary Pat Clark.
Resident Tony Dawson said, “When I dealt with Darryl De Sousa, he was a man of integrity, he was honest and he was diligent in getting the work done and getting the job done.”
Others were just interested in an honest relationship between the public and the city.
“We have to tear down these walls of division and build on the need to build a foundation of trust and collaboration to reach all of our common goals,” Ray Kelly, of No Boundaries Coalition, said.
De Sousa fielded questions on everything rom recruitment and training, to officers living in the city and transparency.
“Are there bad and corrupt cops in Baltimore? Yes,” De Sousa said openly after a question from Councilman Zeke Cohen.
He also spoke of his upbringing, about how his parents taught him to be accountable; something many in the city expect if he’s confirmed.
“I know that that were going in the right direction and the main thing is that I know that we need to bridge the gap. We need to put our relationship on steroids with the community and that’s my intention when I take office,” said De Sousa.
De Sousa also said he’s working on a corruption unit and that the consent decree was critical. The full council will vote on the nomination Monday.