BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore Police Department spokesman T.J. Smith has resigned from his position with the department.
Smith posted on social media that he would be leaving, but did not specify what he would be doing next.
Baltimore PD Chief of Strategic Communications Matt Jablow will take over as chief of public information. Jablow served as BPD’s Director of Public Affairs from 2003 to 2007.
Smith wrote a goodbye letter to the people of Baltimore, in which he touches on a number of issues facing the city and the police department.
“As I said when I arrived in Baltimore, and I’ll say the same as I leave, ‘I’m not just a spokesperson, I’m a community advocate.’ As I say goodbye, for now, it has truly been my honor and privilege to serve with the men and women of the Baltimore Police Department and the citizens of the city of Baltimore,” Smith said in his goodbye message.
His departure comes a day after the interim police commissioner Gary Tuggle announced he is pulling his name from consideration for the permanent job.
The city is currently experiencing a crime spike, with September being the deadliest month in Baltimore in more than a year.
37 people were murdered.
Murders are down compared to last year, but on Wednesday, high-ranking police officers laid out plans for what’s being done to stop crime.
The chair of the Public Safety committee said the focus should be on the entire system, not just the commissioner or spokesperson.
“We cannot just gloss over the fact that there are people who are busting their butts everyday at the mid and lower ground level to try and make Baltimore safer,” said Councilman Brandon Scott.
When asked on her reaction to Smith’s departure, the Mayor wished him well, but said she believes the department will be okay.
“We have PR people, we have a whole team of folks. T.J. is just one person,” Pugh said.