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Baltimore police release new organizational structure to 'streamline' communication

The Baltimore Police Department released its new organizational structure, emphasizing the department will “streamline the chain of command” when it goes into effect Wednesday.

The department announced last week it would reduce the number of colonels from four to two as well as reducing the number of lieutenant colonels from seven to four.

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In a news release Tuesday, the department announced that Col. Richard Worley will be the Chief of Patrol while Col. Bryon Conaway will lead the city’s Criminal Investigation Division.

The Community Collaboration Division will move under the Chief of Patrol’s office, where it will be led by Lt. Col. Sheree Briscoe, who headed a neighborhood coordination program.

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Baltimore Police organizational chart under Commissioner Michael Harrison

Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison, confirmed in the job last month, outlined his plans last week to divide the department into four bureaus: Administration, Operations and two newly formed bureaus of Compliance and Public Integrity.

Harrison named two deputy commissioners — Danny Murphy and James Gillis — to head the newly formed Compliance and Administration bureaus, respectively. Murphy worked alongside Harrison in New Orleans whereas Gillis is the previous chief of staff for the Baltimore Police.

The chart released by the department shows two deputy commissioner vacancies for the Operations and Public Integrity bureaus as well as for lower ranking positions, including oversight of “Records Management” and “Overtime.”

A police spokeswoman did not return calls for comment as to whether Harrison plans to hire from outside the department or promote from within to fill those vacancies.

Those in command staff whose positions were eliminated can choose to stay with the department at a lower rank or leave.

Acting Deputy Baltimore Police Commissioner Melvin T.  Russell, a 40-year veteran of the force who leads community outreach efforts and was one of six finalists who interviewed last year for the top job, is leaving the department this week amid an organizational shake-up.

The commissioner has said he is actively looking to recruit from outside the department and at least three jobs — chief financial officer, chief technology officer and police academy academic director — have been listed with national law enforcement groups.

In a statement, the department said the moves were “made to streamline the chain of command, improve the lines of communication and create an appropriate span of control, with the goal of make the Department more efficient, effective and responsive.”

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