Darryl De Sousa's time as Baltimore police commissioner was short — but not the shortest

Baltimore Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa resigned Tuesday after being charged with failing to file federal income tax returns — ending a term that lasted just 116 days.

But he doesn't own the title of shortest tenure as Baltimore's top cop.


The announcement of De Sousa's resignation came after he was charged with three misdemeanor counts of failing to file federal income tax returns by federal prosecutors last week.

De Sousa, the ninth person to hold the job since 2000, served as commissioner longer than Ronald L. Daniel, who served under then-Mayor Martin O'Malley for just 88 days. He took office Jan. 3, 2000, and resigned March 30.


According to Sun reporting at the time, Daniel surprised even his top aides when he resigned after refusing to back O'Malley's plan to fight crime.

O'Malley had twice expressed his impatience with Daniel's leadership — once for not moving fast enough to fight crime and then for disagreeing with a New York consultant hired by O'Malley.

City Hall sources at the time said Daniel could not work with $2,000-a-day crime consultants O'Malley had hired. Of 87 suggestions for how to reduce crime in Baltimore, Daniel rejected half, City Hall sources said.

Short tenures among Baltimore police commissioners are not uncommon in a city long plagued by violence.

After Mayor Catherine Pugh fired Kevin Davis, De Sousa's predecessor in January, Chuck Wexler told the Sun that the average tenure of a police chief in a major city is three to four years.

"The bigger the city, the shorter the tenure," said Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum. "The stakes are higher in a big city."

De Sousa was appointed on an interim basis on Jan. 19 and was confirmed by the City Council on Feb. 26.

Deputy Commissioner Gary Tuggle, who was named acting commissioner after Pugh suspended De Sousa days before his resignation, will now be the interim commissioner, Pugh's office said.


Here is the full list of Baltimore police commissioners:

· Charles Howard, 1850-1861

· Nicholas L.Wood, 1862-1864

· Samuel Hindes, 1864-1866

· James Young, 1866-1867

· LeFevre Jarrett, 1867-1870


· John W. Davis, 1870-1871

· William H.B. Fusselbaugh, 1871-1881

· George Colton, 1881-1887

· Edson M. Schryver, 1887-1897

· Daniel C. Heddinger, 1897-1900

· George M. Upsher, 1900-1904


· James H. Preston , 1904-1908 (Gov. Warfield made him a member of the Board of Police Commissioners for Baltimore City, 1904-08)

· George R. Willis, 1904-1908

· Sherlock Swann, 1908-1910

· John B.A. Wheltle, 1910-1912

· Morris A. Soper, 1912-1913

· James McEvoy, 1913-1914


· Daniel C. Ammidon, 1914-1916

· Lawrason Riggs, 1916-1920

· Charles D. Gaither, 1920-1937

· William Lawson, 1937-1938

· Robert F. Stanton, 1938-1943

· Hamilton R. Atkinson, 1943-1949


· Beverly Ober, 1949-1955

· James M. Hepbron, 1955-1961

· Bernard Schmidt, 1961-1966

· Donald Pomerleau, 1966-1981

· Frank Battaglia, 1981-1984

· Bishop Robinson, 1984-1987


· Edward J. Tilghman, 1987-1989

· Edward V. Woods, 1989-1993

· Thomas C. Frazier, 1994-1999

· Ronald L.Daniel, 2000

· Edward Norris, 2000-2002

· Kevin Clark, 2003-2004


· Leonard Hamm, 2004-2007

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· Frederick Bealefeld III, 2007-2012

· Anthony W. Batts, 2012-2015

· Kevin Davis, 2015-2018

· Darryl D. De Sousa, 2018

· Gary Tuggle (interim), 2018-present


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For the record

An earlier version of this story misstated the number of days Ronald L. Daniel served as police commissioner. The Sun regrets the error.