How does Baltimore compare with other cities police commissioner pick Joel Fitzgerald has overseen?

The Baltimore Sun

Incoming Baltimore police commissioner Joel Fitzgerald is bringing his experience heading three previous police departments — all in the past five years.

Here’s a look at each city by the numbers and how it compares with Baltimore.

Missouri City, Texas

Years as chief: From 2009 to 2013

Population: Missouri City, a suburb of Houston, had about 65,000 residents in 2009, according to Houston Style Magazine.

Department size when hired: The department staffed 107 people when Fitzgerald was hired, the magazine reported.

What happened to crime while he was there? Missouri City Police Department’s website does not contain data on reported crimes earlier than 2015. However the Community Impact newspaper reported that Fitzgerald earned several awards, including the NAACP President’s Award for community policing work during his time in Missouri City.

Allentown, Pa.

Years as chief: From 2013 to 2015

Population: Allentown is Pennsylvania’s third-largest city, with about 118,500 residents in 2013, The Express-Times reported at the time.

Department size when hired: The department staffed 211 full-time officers and civilian employees, The Express-Times reported.

What happened to crime while he was there?

In 2015, Fitzgerald released a report on the previous year, stating that violent crimes in Allentown had dropped to the lowest levels since 2001. The department reportedly went about $600,000 over budget in overtime expenditures, though the department still ended the year within its total budget.

Fort Worth, Texas

Years as chief: From 2015 to 2018

Population: Fort Worth had about 800,000 residents in 2015, according to the Morning Call newspaper.

Department size when hired: The Morning Call reported the Police Department had more than 1,800 employees in 2015.

What happened to crime while he was there?

In 2017, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that the city’s murder count was on the rise, mirroring a national uptick in violent crimes. However, the rates still fell far below those reported in the 1990s, the article said.

Baltimore

Population: Baltimore has more than 611,000 residents, according to U.S. Census estimates for 2017.

Department size: 2,500 police officers.

What’s happening with crime right now?

In 2017, Baltimore had the highest rate of killings of any big city in the country, with more than 342 homicides. More than 270 homicides have been reported in 2018.

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