Batts gets an early start

Anthony W. Batts, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's pick for police commissioner, is getting an early start. 

According to the Police Department's Twitter page, Batts formally started work today. He was scheduled to begin Thursday, and there was no advance word that Batts would be starting before then. 

On Monday, The Sun reported that Acting Police Commissioner Anthony Barksdale had gone on medical leave "indefinitely," leaving the agency without two of its top four commanders following the retirement of Col. Jesse Oden, the chief of criminal investigations.

Anthony Guglielmi, the police department's chief spokesman, said Batts wanted to get "entrenched" with the agency, from becoming better acquainted to the command staff to getting up to speed on recent cases. "He's going to spend the next 72 hours doing that," Guglielmi said.

Though Batts' contract is signed and he has started work, he still must be confirmed by the City Council. Confirmation hearings were expected to take place in the middle of October. 

Related: The Sun's profile on Batts, covering his upbringing and career on the West Coast. 

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