Once and Future Chief, or so we hope

From the Baltimore Sun:

The Baltimore Police Department’s acting commissioner and the former chief of Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department have emerged as front-runners being considered by Mayor Sheila Dixon for the city’s top law enforcement position, according to several sources familiar with the process.

Acting Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III, a 26-year veteran with broad support from within the department’s ranks, faces competition for the job from Charles H. Ramsey, who stepped down in December as Washington’s police chief, sources said Monday.

If Baltimore is lucky it’s next police commissioner will be Charles Ramsey.

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I lived in Washington, DC under several police commissioners and saw the police force there transformed from something approaching third world standards of incompetence, corruption, and brutality into a creditable, though still marginal, city police force under Chief Ramsey.

Regardless of Acting Commissioner Bealefeld’s credentials, the Baltimore Police Department needs someone at the top who will not only fight crime but fight the entrenched and endemic underachievement that epitomizes that force. If you have any doubts about the right choice, the head of the Baltimore Police union says it all:

Paul M. Blair Jr., president of the city police union, said he believes his members would support Bealefeld “110 percent” over Ramsey.

He said that mid-level commanders and the rank-and-file officers are concerned that a new commissioner from outside the department would cause too much upheaval.

There is no downside in this selection for Mayor Dixon. She can begin to establish her own team and turn around the city’s police department by selecting Charles Ramsey as police commissioner

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