John Skinner

Baltimore City Police Deputy Commissioner John Skinner is pictured in the department's Watch Center. (Kenneth K. Lam, Baltimore Sun / May 1, 2013)

One of the highest ranking members of Baltimore police, who has served in supervisory positions for more than half his career, has announced his retirement.

Deputy Commissioner John P. Skinner, the commander of the Intelligence and Investigations Bureau, plans to leave the agency. He has served as a second-in-command under both current police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts and former commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III.

"After many years of distinguished service, Deputy Commissioner John Skinner has announced his intent to retire," Baltimore police spokesman Lt. Eric Kowalczyk said, adding that no exact date had been determined.

Skinner was the highest-ranking holdover when Batts became commissioner in the fall of 2012 and, at the time, oversaw all investigations and patrol operations. He was first promoted to deputy commissioner in 2011, when he oversaw the police administration including the department's $350 million budget, hiring and recruiting.

Batts expanded the number of deputy commissioners from two to three. Skinner's departure leaves Jerry Rodriguez, a recruit from the Los Angeles Police Department who oversees the Bureau of Professional Standards, and Dean M. Palmere, who commands the Neighborhood Patrol Bureau, as Batts' remaining deputies.

In his tenure, Skinner has served as police's chief of patrol and the commanding officer in charge of the Western District, Central District and the Intelligence Section, according to Advanced Leadership Consortium, a private police consulting firm where Skinner is listed as an operating partner. He was promoted to the rank of major in 2001 after about eight years on the force, a quick rise not often seen within the department.

In 2010, Skinner was awarded Police Officer of the Year by the National Alliance of Mental Illness for his work helping train police officers to recognize mental illness, and in 2006, Baltimore Magazine named him a "Baltimorean of the Year" for creation of the Safe Zone Project, a program that attempted to stabilize troublesome, drug-ridden neighborhoods using various city, social service and police resources working together.

Skinner has a master's degree and teaches part-time at Towson University.

jgeorge@baltsun.com

Twitter.com/justingeorge