When Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh temporarily steps down at midnight Monday, City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young will take over as ex officio mayor. The 64-year-old married father of two has served on the council for 21 years, leading the body as president since 2010.
Harrison said he remains unshaken by those developments and committed to doing his part to deliver “strong, decisive, steady leadership” to Baltimore’s residents.
“I’m sorry to see the mayor in this position, and sorry to see the city going through what it is going through,” Harrison said. “Although I’m eternally grateful for being hired by the mayor and being brought to Baltimore by the mayor, my commitment is to the citizens of Baltimore.”
Overall violent crime is slightly down over this time last year, but homicides and non-fatal shootings are both up by more than 20 percent.
Harrison said he is continuing to tweak the department’s crime and deployment strategies daily, and continues to meet one-on-one with department leaders to assess capabilities and needs.
Harrison said that “any conversations between the mayor and the police chief are always confidential,” but that he and Young had “great communication and a great talk about moving forward and staying focused.”
Harrison said he didn’t come to Baltimore because he thought it would be easy.
“People have often referred to my taking this position as a challenge,” he said. “I’ve always countered that by saying, ‘You know what? It’s also an opportunity.’”
And he said he has “no reason to believe” his work in Baltimore will end anytime soon.