Mayor Catherine Pugh swears in Michael S. Harrison as the 41st Police Commissioner of Baltimore City after being unanimously confirmed by the Baltimore City Council. (Baltimore Sun video)
Michael Harrison was formally sworn in as Baltimore’s 41st police commissioner Tuesday morning.
“Having had a wonderful career in New Orleans, I thought I was just in my career there. God had bigger things for me to do. I’m humbled, I’m honored, excited to have this wonderful opportunity given to me by Mayor [Catherine] Pugh,” Harrison said at the brief ceremony in the formal Ceremonial Room at City Hall.
Harrison was joined by his wife, C.C. Harrison, and his mother.
Michael Harrison, Baltimore's first permanent police commissioner in 10 months, has received unanimous support from City Council. That means he's also launched on a complex mission: drive down historically high rates of violent crime while reforming a dysfunctional department.
Harrison said he’s dedicated to helping the mayor “accomplish her vision of creating a safe city, reforming a police department that’s in need of reform, and turning Baltimore into the city it should have always been and what it needs to be right now — the greatest city in America.”
He’s faced with tackling the city’s high crime while simultaneously reforming the department under a court-ordered consent decree.
After reciting the oath, Harrison signed his name in blue ink under the signatures of the city’s previous commissioners — Darryl De Sousa, Kevin Davis\ and Anthony Batts. All three of their terms were to have continued through Tuesday’s date, but each commissioner left their term earlier, signaling the difficult job ahead of Harrison.