Published: Sun, January 21, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Kevin Davis is new Baltimore police commissioner

Kevin Davis is new Baltimore police commissioner

The contract of Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis, who was replaced by Mayor Catherine Pugh on Friday, provides a possible $150,000 severance package.

Deputy Commissioner Darryl DeSousa, a 30-year veteran of the force, will take Commissioner Kevin Davis' place immediately, Mayor Catherine Pugh announced. "The road ahead will be hard, but members of the City Council stand ready to partner with Mayor Pugh, Commissioner Designate DeSousa and the men and women of the police department as we continue the process of reforming policing practices in our city". The mayor also said the city was turning the corner in its fight against crime, going from "out of control" to "trending in the right direction", the Sun reported.

Baltimore has struggled with violent crime.

The city finished 2017 with 343 killings, influencing the murder to rate around 56 killings for every 100,000 individuals, a for each capita record.

In contrast, New York City had 290 homicides previous year, its fewest on record in the modern era for the city of 8.5 million people.

"I am impatient. We need violence reduction".

High-crime Baltimore's top cop was sacked Friday after failing to halt the surge in killings that have turned Maryland's largest city into one of the deadliest in the country.

"In 30 years, this is the best initiative I've seen". Additional uniformed officers began rolling out at 9 a.m.as part of a new initiative, he said at the news conference.

Davis, who joined the Prince George's (Md.) County Police Department as a cadet in 1992, rose quickly through the ranks and various assignments, and made major by the time he was 36 and assistant chief at 42. What's needed is a culture change in the department that will give officers confidence that when they go into battle against the animals running wild in the city, the politicians and their superiors will have their backs.

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"I have a real strong message for the trigger-pullers: We're coming after them", DeSousa said.

DeSousa's appointment will require approvals for the position to become permanent.

DeSousa said his main priorities were to reduce violence and crack down on violent, repeat offenders.

"The fact is, we are not achieving the pace of progress that our residents have every right to expect in the weeks since we ended what was almost a record year for homicides", she said. Mayor Pugh describes this move as an act of progress for the city that eclipsed more than 340 murders past year.

Pugh had backed an assessment made by Davis in recent months which said the department was short hundreds of officers, despite an nearly half-billion-dollar annual budget.

"I firmly believe that Commissioner-Designate DeSousa has the ideas, approach and demonstrated track record that will enable him to lead an accelerated effort to get criminals off our streets, reduce violence and restore public safety - and peace of mind - throughout the neighborhoods", Pugh said.

"Baltimore has for quite some time been my home and I've spent my profession on its boulevards and in its neighborhoods to address issues and realize arrangements that are significant for the general population we serve", DeSousa said.

Pugh said she is grateful for the service Davis provided to the city.

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