Anne Arundel County's new police chief is pledging to restore order and pride to an agency that has been racked by scandal and leadership changes over the past two years.
Kevin Davis, who takes over Monday as chief, brings with him 21 years of experience in Prince George's County, including the past three years as assistant chief.
Anne Arundel County, he said, "is filled with good cops and good commanders."
"I am personally not interested in distractions. So whether it's a commander or a patrol officer or a detective, we're all on the same team and we move forward as one, shoulder to shoulder, on behalf of the community," Davis said Friday. "As distractions reveal themselves, I will forthrightly deal with those distractions."
The Police Department has had more than its share of distractions the past two years, including leadership changes and officers becoming entangled in the court case that ended with John R. Leopold resigning as county executive.
Leopold's police chief, James Teare Sr., resigned last summer amid the state prosecutor's investigation into Leopold's use of his county police detail. Teare was not charged, but the indictment against Leopold said the chief did not intervene after officers complained about the county executive's actions.
Leopold was convicted of two counts of misconduct in office and has appealed the convictions.
Teare was replaced by Larry W. Tolliver, a former state police superintendent. Tolliver resigned in May after he was accused of making insensitive remarks, though a personnel investigation found no wrongdoing.
County Executive Laura Neuman said she believes Davis is the right person to turn around the department.
"First and foremost, I'd like to see him restore faith and integrity to the department," Neuman said. "We need a stable, strong leader, and I believe he will be the guy for that."
Prince George's officials lamented the lost of their No. 2 cop.
County Executive Rushern L. Baker III said Davis earned respect from commanders, colleagues, government officials and Prince George's residents.
"He is the consummate law enforcement officer and will excel as the chief of police in Anne Arundel County," Baker said.
Prince George's Police Chief Mark Magaw said Davis' experience in Prince George's has prepared him well for the challenges in Anne Arundel.
"He's coming from a department that has gone through a lot of the same issues," Magaw said. "We're stronger now than we've ever been. … We learned from mistakes and moved on. "He's the perfect person at the perfect time for Anne Arundel County," Magaw said.
Davis said he'll fix Anne Arundel's problems with openness both with the community and within the department. Davis said frustrated officers who previously took their grievances to politicians or the news media won't have much ammunition if they know and understand the chief's rationale behind his decisions.
Davis said he expects police officers to be focused on the common goal of protecting Anne Arundel's citizens.
"Anyone who is not a team player does not have a place in our Police Department," he said.
Davis said he'll meet with groups of rank-and-file officers to get to know them and to understand their concerns.
He'll also be faced with carrying out the recommendations of an outside task force appointed by Neuman that is evaluating the department.