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Baltimore City Police Commissioner Will Serve For 6 More Years

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Ritchie Rochelle 175x131 L Rochelle Ritchie
Rochelle Ritchie joined WJZ Eyewitness News in June 2012. Prio...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore City’s top cop will stay on the job. City Council members have agreed to extend Anthony Batts’ contract for another six years.

Rochelle Ritchie has more what Batts told city leaders about his plans to cut crime.

The commissioner says over the next six years his mission will be to restore trust between citizens and the Baltimore City Police Department. He also says he wants to get repeat offenders off the streets and behind bars.

Baltimore City Police Commissioner Anthony Batts stays on the job another six years after a unanimous decision by members of City Council.

“I appreciate the opportunity the council has given me and the mayor has given me and the citizens,” Batts said.

“I think it’s a very interesting, very refreshing and a very welcoming approach that he takes,” said Councilman Nick Mosby.

Commissioner Batts came to Charm City from the West Coast after serving as the police chief in Oakland, California and Long Beach.

But in 2013, Baltimore City saw its worst crime statistics since Batts took over. Shootings were up 13 percent and murders were up 11 percent.

To defeat crime, the commissioner turned up the heat on violent gangs like the Black Guerrilla Family, ruthlessly seeking out repeat offenders across the city.

Baltimore City’s top cop says re-establishing trust between citizens and the Baltimore City Police Department is key in fighting crime. He’s already seen the results of doing just that within the last year.

New numbers for this year show violent crime is down 16 percent, homicides are down nine percent and shootings have declined 12 percent.

The numbers are better, but a few bad cops have chipped away at citizens’ trust.

“We don’t trust half of those guys out there that you give guns to,” one woman said.

The commissioner says Baltimore is his home–a community he can make better.

“I want to make sure we don’t cause harm, that we bring hope and that we bring business and that the city continues to grow, people see the positive side of Baltimore,” Batts said.

Related Story: Baltimore’s Top Cop Works To Restore Public’s Trust, Make Streets Safer

The commissioner tells WJZ he is pleased to see crime dropping across the city, but he will not be satisfied until all neighborhoods are crime-free.

The commissioner says he will also work to make the department more transparent.

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