BALTIMORE - Provided
Communities across the City of Baltimore are getting new police leadership. The announcement comes as Police Commissioner Anthony Batts begins to implement strategic changes to help ensure the department has a strong foundation in place to start 2013 with a distinct plan to attack crime and disorder.
"Maximizing our most valuable resource - our employees - and ensuring we have the best leadership teams in place to take on the challenges we face in 2013 is the impetus behind these moves," says Batts. "We are putting the people and systems in place to help improve our crime fight and that includes better management of our resources, community engagement, and a continued and targeted focus on guns and gangs - that small group of criminals who wreak havoc on our communities."
The changes include the addition of a Community Policing Division led by newly promoted Lt. Colonel Melvin Russell, a mainstay commander who successfully drove down crime in the Eastern Division through the implementation of a strong community policing strategy. Commissioner Batts intends to take this best practice across the city.
A new Special Enforcement tangent of Patrol, led by Lt. Colonel Ross Buzzuro and assisted by Major Clifton McWhite, formerly of Western District, will focus on special operations and zone enforcement teams that will concentrate on gangs and guns and bring stability to neighborhoods that are experiencing higher crime rates. Garnell Green, most recently in charge of Homicides in the Criminal Investigations Division (CID), has been promoted to Colonel and will command the Patrol Division, while Major Darryl De Sousa is promoted to Lt. Colonel to oversee the Area 1 Command. Area 2 Command remains under the auspices of Lt. Colonel Robert Booker.
Colonel Dean Palmere, who most recently led Patrol, will take the reins of CID, taking over from the retiring Colonel Jesse Oden. Deputy Commissioner John Skinner remains in charge of overall Operations.
There will be four new faces added to district commands with the promotion of Lieutenants Kim Burris, Osborne 'Moe' Robinson, Deron Garrity and Erik Pecha to the rank of Captain and second-in-command of districts. Captains Melissa Hyatt, Keith Matthews, and Robert Smith are all being promoted to Major to take command of Central, Eastern and Western Districts respectively.
"We have full confidence in the abilities of those we have promoted and those moving to new challenges. We encourage our communities to welcome their leadership teams and continue to support the face of public safety in their neighborhoods."
The changes are the beginning of a number of coordinated and strategic efforts aimed to improve policing through a strategic crime focus, improved intelligence gathering and sharing, and a renewed commitment to proactive policing and community engagement.
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