Baltimore City Police Commissioner Fred Bealefeld talks about his resignation

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake reacts to news

BALTIMORE -  

He knows it.

    

In a big city like Baltimore, Commissioner Fred Bealefeld knows there will be rumors or whispers about his resignation, and there are plenty; from the political, to him angling for another job but honestly he says, he's tired.

 

"Everybody is anticipating some big announcement, the ‘ah ha' moment…but it just won't come.  And then maybe, maybe Brian, they'll say hmm, maybe the guy was just showing up everyday, working his tail off trying to make a difference."

 

That is all this Baltimore cop wants, and the statistics show he has.

     

Murders are down 43 percent since he took the post in 2007; violent crime down 14, but most importantly he says he changed the police culture by improving community relations and having his force focus on the worst of the worst; those guns and the really bad guys that carry them.

        

It is a general approach he warns can't change, not now.

 

"It would be a tragedy and a failure of policing for us to revert back to strategies that didn't work, this over dependence on arrests, to move away from targeted enforcement.  If that happens after we leave it would be a tragedy for this city."

 

Bealefeld believes he is leaving behind a solid foundation built on passion, smart policing and of course, a unique type of Baltimore moxie that always landed the commissioner on the evening news.

 

"There was a lot of consternation about my colorful language calling people knuckleheads and morons and idiots.  I had judges on the bench panning me about calling people names.  I've always felt like I was speaking for other people and I tried to use this position to advocate for the people of this city."

 

And that right there is what the commissioner said it was all about; the people of this city, and not just through the last five years as the boss but the 26 he spent before that on the street.

 

"What I am gonna miss is this," the commissioner said tapping his badge, "You know, I've been a cop for a long time.  I'll miss that."

 

Mayor Stepanie Rawlings-Blake says she respects Bealefeld's decision.

        

She says he has made a great impact on this city.

 

"It was a tough decision for him to make and I had to respect that he wants to spend more time with his family.  He's been a terrific commissioner, he's done a great job over the past five years which is I think twice as long as the average police commissioner for a large American city and I am grateful for the work that he's done.  I am looking forward to our search to provide Baltimore the next great police commissioner that is going to take us to the next level," the mayor said.

 

But the commissioner was not the only high profile resignation this week.

          

The director of the mayor's office on criminal justice and arguably the architect on a lot of the public safety measures in Baltimore also resigned Friday.

            

Sheryl Goldstein, the wife of city state's attorney Gregg Bernstein is calling it quits in June.

 

When asked about the reason for these and other recent high profile resignations at an event Friday morning, the mayor said "I'm starting my first full term as mayor," and then walked away from reporters.

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