BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Baltimore City Council confirmed Darryl De Sousa as police commissioner with a 14-1 vote Monday night.
Councilman Ryan Dorsey was the only person to vote against the confirmation, saying he sees it as more of the same policing and is calling for more reform in the police department. Dorsey also said he was never able to see De Sousa’s internal affairs records.
The department has been plagued by corruption scandals, including the cops turned robbers on the Gun Trace Task Force. Eight officers are heading to federal prison for stealing from people — some even stealing guns and drugs.
De Sousa has pledged a new unit to investigate more corruption allegations that came out at trial.
While a number of crime categories including robberies are down, there’s still a lot of violence in the city, including on Park Heights Avenue where a pregnant woman was shot and lost her unborn child and another woman was killed.
Reward posters are up as police try to solve the case.
Murders are down compared to this time last year, but almost five people a week are still getting killed on the city streets.
De Sousa appeared before the council’s executive appointments committee last week to outline his plan for department reform.
City leaders and members of the public were given a chance to voice their thoughts on his confirmation at that meeting.
While most who spoke were in general support of the De Sousa, many made it a point to say they are holding him to a higher standard, especially in the face of recent scandals, specifically corruption that’s been seen within the BPD.
The committee members voted 5-0 to send his nomination to the full council.
De Sousa was promoted by Mayor Catherine Pugh in January after she fired former Commissioner Kevin Davis.
Pugh issued the following statement following the confirmation:
“I am extremely pleased that the Baltimore City Council has confirmed my choice of Commissioner-Designate Darryl De Sousa as Baltimore’s 40th Police Commissioner. He is a man of unquestionable integrity, empathy, compassion, and one who understands that policing is first and foremost about service to those in need. I have every confidence that he is the right man at the right time and in the right place to lead this department forward and to rebuild the public confidence so necessary to reducing violence and creating safe and healthy communities.”