BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore’s new acting commissioner stood in front of hundreds Monday night and told residents why he’s the one to drive down crime.
Residents did not hold back.
It was a job interview in front of the public at Forest Park High.
On his first day on the job, acting commissioner Michael Harrison went on a listening tour.
“Tonight is really about you,” Harrison. “I want to hear from you.”
And he heard a lot from fed-up residents.
“I’m tired of the crime,” said one concerned resident. “I’m tired of the violence and anybody that commits a crime, please don’t do it around me because I’m reporting you. That’s it.”
The law and order veteran who spent more than two decades in New Orleans said he would be tough on crime even if it’s in his own department.
“Even then, I had no problem putting bad cops away,” said Harrison.
But in a city that’s notorious for corruption within the police department, struggling with cutting crime, and has seen three separate commissioner candidates in one year, residents want better results.
And they made that clear Monday night.
“I’m going to support you and give you everything that you need,” a resident told him. “but I promise you, if you falter and fail and lie, and say something to the community that you’re not doing, this is not the face you’re going to want to see.”
At the end of the meeting, Harrison received applause an even a hug.
He admitted that the task will be tough.
“Right now, it’s about learning what’s needed in the department,” Harrison said. “and how to build the machine that tells us what works and what doesn’t work.”
It was the first of nine meetings with the next one being held tomorrow, where the commissioner will get a chance to make his case in the central district.
He still needs approval from the city council.