Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts today announced the appointment of Major Joseph Smith as the new Director of the Department's Education and Training Section.
Smith, who had previously served as Internal Affairs Commander, Police Academy Commander and a firearms training instructor, will take over on Monday as the Academy continues policy audits following last week's accidental shooting of a University of Maryland Police Trainee.
Commissioner Batts praised Smith's dedication and willingness to take on academy leadership at such a pivotal time.
"As we investigate the facts of this horrific tragedy, it's imperative that we put our best leaders in front to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again in the history of the Baltimore Police Department," said Batts. "Major Smith is a demonstrated leader and is committed to the highest levels of integrity and professional standards."
Immediately following the incident, Commissioner Batts suspended all Police Academy operations along with several members of the training staff as the Maryland State Police and BPD Professional Standards and Accountability Bureau conduct criminal and administrative investigations.
Tuesday, Commissioner Batts will join Deputy Commissioners John Skinner and Jerry Rodriguez to introduce Smith to the police recruits and training instructors as the police academy is expected to resume limited academic and classroom instruction. The commissioner is expected to outline his expectations and reaffirm that all policies and procedures, specifically those centered around employee safety are strictly adhered to.
In his most recent assignment, Major Smith led numerous administrative offices within the agency, including BPD's central records, communications, finance, security and fleet services sections. In 2001, as police academy commander, he was awarded a unit citation for the class achievements, dedication and a continuing commitment to excellence.
Smith has served in various patrol and operational functions but is credited with improving efficiencies and most notably, establishing the department's online reporting system which will allow citizens to report crime through the internet. Major Smith joined the department as a police cadet in 1987 and graduated valedictorian from the police academy in 1988. He attended the Community College of Baltimore and is married with three children.