BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore’s City Council will start the confirmation process for acting Police Commissioner Darryl DeSousa Monday night.
The public will have a chance to speak on this hiring, but not until later.
First came the announcement from Mayor Catherine Pugh, “I’m charging this commissioner and his staff to get on top of it.”
Next up are confirmation hearings.
Monday night, the Baltimore City Council will formally begin the vetting process for DeSousa.
It’s a hurdle he’s expected to overcome.
“I think he’s the perfect person for the job at this point in time in Baltimore,” said Councilman Brandon Scott. “Someone that knows all that’s right with BPD, but more importantly, all that’s wrong.”
DeSousa has enjoyed widespread praise.
The Fraternal Order of Police called him a “breath of fresh air”.
And with Baltimore’s notorious crime problem, he’s vowed to put more officers in neighborhoods, eliminate guns, and target criminals.
“So our goal is really to zero in on those specific folks, and we don’t want to zone in on a community, we want to zone in on a person,” DeSousa said.
The acting police commissioner is a 30-year veteran of the department, but for a city that’s weary of police abuses, the hope is he will truly bring change.
“We just want to ensure that people’s civil and constitutional rights are adhered to while they are doing that,” said Ray Kelly, with No Boundaries Coaltion. “And for me, I just have the fear always that location will be used as a probable cause.”
As the city council considers this new leader’s abilities, there’s also a push that would give the city the power to offer him a shorter contract than his predecessors.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen, and that’s the point. When so many things are unknown, you don’t want to be tied in for that length of a contract,” Scott added.
The full council is expected to set a committee hearing for DeSousa, and that could happen some time next week.
If that committee approves him, the next steps will include a public hearing.