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Harrison sworn in as the new leader of the Baltimore Police Department

Harrison becomes the 41st commissioner of the BPD
Posted at 12:30 PM, Mar 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-12 17:50:31-04

Baltimore City has a new police commissioner and his name is Michael Harrison.

The 41st police commissioner of Baltimore City was confirmed unanimously by city council, as many hope Harrison’s begins a new era for the Baltimore Police Department.

The swearing-in that took place at the Ceremonial Room at City Hall now makes it official. Michael Harrison is now Baltimore City police commissioner Harrison. Repeating after Mayor Catherine Pugh, “execute the office of Baltimore City police commissioner, according to the Constitution of Maryland, and the laws of Baltimore City,” Harrison said.

Flanked to his right by his wife and mother, Harrison thanked Mayor Pugh, saying he's humbled, honored, and excited to take on the challenge.

“To help accomplish her vision, of creating a safe city, reforming a police department that’s in need of reform, and turning Baltimore into the city it should have always been, what it needs to be right now, the greatest city in America,” Harrison said.

From two fired commissioners to one temporary top cop, Harrison’s swearing-in brings an end to more than a year of unstable leadership for the BPD. Pugh is counting on Harrison to bring change.

“New Orleans was considered one of the most dangerous cities in America, and that has changed. It didn’t change overnight, but it has changed. Someone who understands a consent decree, they’re 90 percent through theirs through the help of this man,” Pugh said.

Several recent shootings and homicides in Baltimore this March already are putting Harrison to the test to reduce crime.

“Many times people are there, and they know what happened, or saw what happened, or they’re being told what happened, and those are things we need to know. So as the leader, I’m asking and appealing to the people to come forward, and help us,” Harrison said.

When Harrison says us, he's not just talking about the men and women on the force.

“Let’s be honest, the person pulling the trigger, that’s their decision that they are making. So we have to change the way they make decisions. While we can’t be on every corner, we have to change how people make their decisions to commit a crime. That’s going to take a community,” Harrison said.