BALTIMORE (WJZ) –The police commissioner is one of the most important jobs in Baltimore, but it’s also one of the most unstable. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake wants Kevin Davis to be the permanent police commissioner. It’s a tough job most people don’t remain in for very long.
Derek Valcourt with why Davis says he is up for the task.
He says he wants the job, but first, he has to win approval from the Baltimore City Council.
His crime fighting strategy earned Interim Commissioner Kevin Davis the mayor’s support to permanently lead the police department.
“His response to that spike has really impressed me,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said.
If approved by City Council, Davis would become the sixth person to lead the department in the last 15 years.
Ed Norris held the job from 2000 to 2002 until he was replaced by Kevin Clark, who held the job less than two years before he was fired and replaced by Leonard Hamm. Then came Fred Bealefeld, whose retirement ended his nearly five years on the job. His successor, Anthony Batts, lasted just shy of three years.
“Leadership instability and turnover absolutely impacts crime fighting and crime fighting success,” said Rob Weinhold, Fallston Group.
Policing and crisis communications expert Rob Weinhold says a police commissioner should be allowed to stay on the job for at least five years.
“And that’s important because you generally change police departments from the top down and the bottom up. The policies, the blueprints that you create take time to embed themselves and ultimately affect crime and the fear of crime in Baltimore’s neighborhoods,” said Weinhold.
But some worry Davis’ tenure may be short if the winner of the 2016 mayoral election decides to hire a new commissioner of their own.
“That’s a long way off right now,” said Baltimore City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke.
Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke supports Davis’ nomination and says his City Council approval could bring the department some stability.
“It would give him the authority with the officers and the standing with the public to know that he was in charge of the police department and could be held responsible and was not going anywhere,” said Clarke.
The City Council will have to vote to formally approve of Davis for the position. They will hold public hearings before that happens. A date has not been set.
Prior to coming to the Baltimore police force, Kevin Davis was a police chief in Anne Arundel County.