Who is Commissioner Harrison really kidding?
So…… the new acting Baltimore City Police Commissioner, Michael Harrison, intends to seek the assistance of religious leaders of all denominations to urge them to urge their members to serve the public and become police officers. Commissioner Harrison might have good intentions, but who is he really kidding?
By the way, initially he indicated he was not interested in becoming the commissioner for the Baltimore City Police Department since he was about to retire from his role as police commissioner in New Orleans. And, by the way he was not the first choice of Mayor Pugh. Now, could it be when he learned of the salary for the Baltimore position ($275,000), he had a change of heart?
What will his new recruiting strategy entail? Is he going to enlighten the leaders of the varied religious institutions that the salary for beginning police officers will be at least $200,000 or $100,000? I think not. He will have to convey to them that the starting salary is more like $52,000. Will he be honest with the potential recruits and tell them what they have to look forward to with this salary? Will he inform them that once the new police officers put on their uniforms, they become targets for being shot at any given moment. Will he notify them that it is not uncommon for situations to occur, whereby in the officers’ enthusiasm for performing their duties and they make an arrest, the tables are turned and they become the supposed criminal based on accusations of harassment or discrimination. Will he let them know of the implementation of the civil rights reforms mandated by the city’s consent decree which makes the job of the police officers even more difficult?
Even if acting Commissioner Harrison has some success in his recruiting efforts, there is still no quick fix. Attendance at the police academy along with rigorous training lies ahead for the new recruits. In the meantime, what transpires. A weekend like the last one where there were 14 shootings from Thursday until Sunday.
Needless to say it is a long road to travel, not only for the recruits, but also for Commissioner Harrison as he endeavors to curb the violence that has descended on Baltimore City and ae he tries to fill all of the vacancies in the department, a number more like 1500, rather than 500.
So……good luck to Michael Harrison, for he will need all that he can get.