The Downtown Partnership of Baltimore hired a senior city police officer Wednesday as the new vice president of safety programs.

William Marcus will take over the position previously held by another former police officer, Tom Yeager, who is retiring after 17 years with the nonprofit.

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The Baltimore Police Department promoted Marcus in August 2015 to oversee central, northern and northwest districts of the city. He has worked for the department for more than 30 years.

Marcus will act as a connector between the nonprofit and city emergency services, overseeing the Downtown Safety Coalition.

"William Marcus knows Downtown neighborhoods well and will be an invaluable resource as we continue to make Downtown Baltimore a healthy and welcoming place for everyone who lives and works here," said Kirby Fowler, president of the partnership, in a news release.

Fowler credited Yeager's work with the partnership in creating a safer city and said his "programs and work with the Police Department led to a drop in the incidence of crime."

"Lieutenant Colonel Marcus is a dedicated hard worker who brings a passion to the job," said Kevin Davis, Baltimore police commissioner, in a news release. "I know that he will work tirelessly for the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, and his hire only adds to our already great working relationship."

For more than 30 years, the Downtown Partnership has focused on improving the Charles Street corridor and surrounding areas of the city.

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