"In 2010, the lowest homicide rate in 22 years, people said, 'Good time to cash out.' Look, the past year has been tough. You talked about Select Lounge. I lost a great friend. My father just passed. Its been a very, very difficult year."
The commissioner also had to confront a crisis in rape investigations. It was revealed that the department had a high rate of rape reports that police deemed "unfounded," leading victims' rights groups to conclude that attacks on women were not being thoroughly investigated.
At a community meeting last year, Bealefeld lamented that more Baltimoreans know the current batting average of their favorite baseball player than the number of people dying on the city's streets.
"We don't know that stat that drives the engine that creeps people out about living in Baltimore," the commissioner told Northeast Baltimore residents. "We continue to see great progress in the city. We have great difficulties getting the word out."
Reporters Tricia Bishop and Michael Dresser contributed to this article.
•Joined the Police Department as a cadet in 1981
•Worked in homicide and narcotics and ran the Southern District station
•Named chief in 2007, and served five years, the longest tenure of a city police commissioner since 1981.