Top Baltimore police commander quits, is banned from city buildings after slamming chair during heated meeting

A high-ranking Baltimore Police commander said he has been banned from city buildings after slamming a chair into a wall during a heated meeting with interim Commissioner Gary Tuggle’s chief of staff.

Col. Perry Standfield, a retiree who was recruited back to the department by former Commissioner Darryl De Sousa earlier this year, said he quit when Tuggle moved to fire him after the incident.

“I lost my temper,” Standfield said in a phone interview.

A flier obtained by The Baltimore Sun that reads, “BOLO” or “be on the lookout,” says Standfield is “not allowed at City Hall, BPD headquarters or any other BPD property unless properly escorted.”

Police spokesman T.J. Smith later said in a statement that the flier had been “disseminated erroneously,” but that any person who leaves the agency abruptly is banned from certain parts of the building reserved for active members of the department.

Smith confirmed that Standfield had resigned Thursday and said the incident was an internal personnel matter.

Standfield said Tuggle’s chief of staff, Jim Gillis, summoned him to a meeting and was “berating me like I was a little kid.” Gillis could not be reached for comment Thursday afternoon.

Standfield was serving as the commander in charge of a new unit called the “Institute for Community Police Relations & Downtown Engagement.” He had been working on a new program in collaboration with Coppin State University, and also was assigned to try to tackle the issue of “squeegee kids” who wash car windows at stop lights.

Standfield retired as a lieutenant and had been brought out of retirement by De Sousa earlier this year to serve as chief of patrol, an important position that directs the agency’s patrol districts. Since then, he said, he’s been acting as a deputy commissioner in place of Tuggle, who moved up to the top spot in an acting capacity.

Standfield said his return to the Baltimore Police Department has been “rough.”

“There’s no organization in the department,” he said. “There’s a lot of infighting that the public doesn’t know about, doesn’t see. I can’t be a part of it. I’m not that type of person.”

Standfield said no one from the agency reached out to him about his well-being after the incident in Gillis’ office.

“Their thing was ‘terminate him and get him out of the building,’” he said. “I tell you, I think the [department] really and truly needs to be started all over again.”

jfenton@baltsun.com

twitter.com/justin_fenton

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