BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The interim Baltimore City police commissioner has withdrawn his application for the position.
The Baltimore City Solicitor Andre Davis says Gary Tuggle, who has served as interim police commissioner since Darryl De Sousa resigned back in May, withdrew his application for the police commissioner job.
Davis also said the job will be filled before Halloween, and called it the “most difficult police job in the country.”
Mayor Catherine Pugh fired Kevin Davis in January after the city recorded 300 homicides for the third consecutive year. Darryl De Sousa assumed the helm in an interim capacity before being confirmed in February. He resigned in May following federal tax charges.
In August, it was reported that more than 40 people had applied to be Baltimore’s police commissioner.
Tuggle pointed to time and personal reasons as catalysts for his decision to leave the department.
“It wasn’t a decision that was in a vacuum. It did take some time, but at the end of the day, I always said if I was going to do it, I wasn’t going to do it halfway, and I certainly wasn’t going to take the position if I couldn’t be vested for the next five years,” Tuggle said.
Baltimore City’s solicitor revealed Tuggle had withdrawn his application after they were pressed by a federal judge Tuesday for a status update on the position.
It was the first topic during the third hearing on the federal consent decree mandating police reforms and an overhaul of the department.
The latest progress report revealed shifts in training and staffing, with BPD moving 115 officers back to patrol, and enhancing command staff training.
A need, the federal judge said, was highlighted by the highly criticized crime scene in Harlem Park, where last November, Det. Sean Suiter died on duty and police locked down the neighborhood for days to search for his alleged shooter.
His death is now believed to be a suicide.
But, the judge described the initial response as chaotic.
“There are cultural issues that have to be sort of shifted within the police department. That process is well underway. It’s not going to be something that happens overnight. And, I hope that people will respect that the next police commissioner won’t be able to fix this in a month or two months,” Tuggle said.
Now the question is, who that may be, as the office changes hands for the third time in under a year.