BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore City Police Commissioner Michael Harrison says he’s not distracted by the scandal involving Mayor Catherine Pugh as he continues work to reform the department.

“It has not impacted me at all, and yes, I feel like I have the full support of the mayor ex-officio and from every member of the city council, Harrison said. “I’m confident I have their support as well as the support of the citizens. I am unaffected by it, and I am laser-focused on doing the job I was hired to do.“

Pugh remains on leave recovering from pneumonia as she faces multiple investigations into the sales of her Healthy Holly book.

Commissioner Harrison is also putting his stamp on the department by downsizing command staff—reducing the number of lieutenants colonels and colonels.

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“It makes us more efficient,” he said. “There are fewer people now at the top and the people in those positions know exactly who their subordinates are.”

Harrison has yet to hire a deputy commissioner to head the new public integrity bureau, which will oversee anti-corruption efforts.

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“I want that person to be the voice of my voice, and I do not want to have anyone outside override that person‘s decision when it comes to internal affairs and internal investigations.“

The commissioner has also been dealing with a recent spike in violence. He says while there are “ups and downs,” he’s focused on targeting violent offenders.

“We’re going to have reform not just because it’s court mandated but because we really want to do it,“ he said.

The police union recently accused city leaders of being soft on crime.

In West Baltimore, a woman who lives on a block where a 42-year-old man was killed last week says she graded the commissioner with an “e for effort” but lamented the constant drug dealing in her neighborhood.

“It’s very concerning. I live here. My daughter lives here. It’s sad that we don’t even want to come outside,“ said the woman, who asked WJZ to conceal her identity out of fear.

Commissioner Harrison said the “competition that drives money and drives violence over the drug trade must be addressed.”

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However, he says the situation isn’t hopeless. “I left New Orleans and came all the way here because I thought there was hope. It will take time, but there’s always hope,”

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Comments (3)
  1. Commissioner question?? All these HUGE salary’s, manipulation of rank and file, the
    New Orleans elite squad that followed you don’t seem to have changed the STILL ENDLESS violent crimes, shootings EVERYDAY along with continuous murders… When you think you might start to address the violence on our streets and get a handle on the OUT OF CONTROL CRIME in this city??? Time to START earning that HUGE salary…Let’s see some RESULTS on our violent streets then will we see you are doing your job!!!

  2. Come on Commissioner step out from in from of the cameras, do the job you were hired to do and stop violent crimes on Baltimore city streets! You were not hired as an OVERPAID PR person…We need a REAL crime fighter to show us RESULTS!!!

  3. Tickedoff Person says:

    Nothing will change with this guy. The decay in the city must be dealt with first. Knock down the vacant properties. The geography the criminal element uses to carry out their crimes must be swept clean. No place to run and hide means a lot. Very tough to hide on open ground after they commit a crime. it also bust up the “gangs”…no place to hide.Rat’s run down holes when discovered. Criminals are no different…… Now, this guy. He needs to go forward to meet the new fiscal year budget in July PERIOD. Gotta get his bud’s on the payroll PERIOD. Nobody be fooled that all of the sudden supermen from another world appear to save the city. if this guy is such a criminal genius. The Fed’s would have him. He is here for the money, benefits just like the other’s. He already gets a six figure pension from N.O. Now his hand is in our pocket and his buddies want in too. The super cop we had during the riots turned out to be an idiot. The guy that rode around with his deputies making arrest. Yeah… that guy. He had no plan for out of control crime. This guy doesn’t have a plan either. You can sell a turd with proper marketing. We bought quite a few and this one stinks too but it does have a nice ribbon…..

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