Earlier this morning, Baltimore City Mayor Catherine Pugh announced her new choice for police commissioner, Michael Harrison. In an expedited fashion, merely 24-hours after her first choice, Joel Fitzgerald, withdrew his name from consideration due to family health issues; Pugh named Harrison as his replacement.
Harrison, the current New Orleans police superintendent, reportedly offered up his resignation from the N.O. department upon accepting Mayor Pugh’s offer to become the city’s fourth police commissioner in the past two years. Harrison was actually the choice of the panel put together by Mayor Pugh when selecting the city’s next police commissioner; but since he did not apply for the position, the mayor overlooked his name and decided instead to select the Fort Worth, Texas police chief applicant, Mr. Fitzgerald.
However, yesterday Mr. Fitzgerald withdrew his name from consideration following a recent health scare that reportedly caused his son to receive immediate brain surgery. And Mayor Pugh wasted no time in replacing Fitzgerald with a man many consider to be one of the nation’s best and brightest police commanders. And since New Orleans is under a similar consent decree like the one currently imposed on Baltimore, Harrison will have a better understanding on how to lead the department forward if approved by the members of the Baltimore City Council.
This story will be updated shortly, with a more detailed account of Mr. Harrison, and a statement by the city council’s chairman of the Public Safety Committee, Councilman Brandon Scott.