COMMISSIONER, BALTIMORE CITY POLICE
Leading a large-city police department is no easy task. Leading one operating under a federal consent decree and also struggling to combat record-high homicide numbers above 300 is the challenge faced by Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison.
Harrison became the city’s 41st commissioner in March 2019. He had served the New Orleans Police Department for nearly 30 years being named superin-tendent in 2014.
Previously, he guided two large police departments operating under federal consent decrees. In July 2020 U.S. District Chief Judge James Bredar, who is overseeing the decree, praised Harrison, saying he has provided stability and marked improvements in police training and related reforms that are mandated un-der the decree.
“In the last year, under the leadership of the new commissioner, I have seen the department finally start to make real progress in these core areas – not just planning but implementing,” Bredar said at his quarterly hearing on the department’s progress with consent decree compliance. “Capability now seems to match commitment. Officers are being trained, and retrained, on the new policies.”
In 2019, Harrison was appointed to the Police Executive Research Forum Board of Directors. In June 2020, he became one of three law enforcement leaders on the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Police Reform and Racial Justice Working Group. The group, which was formed after an outpouring of nationwide demonstra-tions over the death of George Floyd, will work to develop reforms that departments could adopt to address police violence and patterns of racial discrimination.