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Harrison: "The person who brought me here is not the reason why I am here."

Commissioner unaffected by Pugh controversy
Posted at 3:00 PM, Apr 18, 2019

BALTIMORE — A chief of staff, a director of governmental affairs, several Catherine Pugh aides; all are now on a leave of absence, joining the mayor on the sidelines of city hall.

Ex officio Mayor Jack Young released a statement yesterday that none of these employees were terminated but that he will “on board” people he believes “are best able to achieve both continuity and stability during this unusual time in Baltimore's history.”

Meanwhile, across the street at Baltimore Police Headquarters, there is also some restructuring going on.

"We are finding great men and women in the police department who love this city and who love this police department," Commissioner Michael Harrison said.

Harrison announced this week he reorganized the command structure of the department to better serve Baltimore by dividing the BPD into four bureaus and reducing the number of colonels and lieutenant colonels.

"They've been very receptive to me and very welcoming, very receptive to the command structure changes. We all understand that had to happen," Harrison said.

The commissioner says he continues to assess the department in his effort to change the culture at BPD and is already seeing it happening, even while the administration that hired him not two months ago is embroiled in controversy as – embattled mayor on an indefinite leave of absence while investigations are launched and rumors swirl.

Harrison says, he pays it no mind.

"Yeah I am unaffected by it. I am hired to do a job and I am here to do that job. I am grateful for the opportunity to come. The person who brought me here is not the reason why I am here."

Rather, Harrison says, he is concentrating on remaking the BPD into a more effective department.