The City of Baltimore seeks highly qualified applicants for a transformational leadership position of Police Commissioner.  The position offers a unique opportunity to further develop a leading police agency, continue constitutional and effective police reform efforts under a federal district court Consent Decree, foster the further reduction of historically high levels of violent crime while rebuilding community trust and accountability, integrity, and stability within the agency.  This is a challenging position in a profession that is among the most difficult in the nation.   The rewards for the successful police commissioner are substantial.

Baltimore is the nation’s 30th largest city, with a population of 611,000 within ninety-two square miles, including eleven square miles of waterways.  Baltimore is a diverse and vibrant community with exceptional natural and community attributes.  Forty miles northeast of Washington, DC, Baltimore is the second largest seaport in the Mid-Atlantic and the principal city in the Washington Baltimore combined statistical area (CSA), the fourth largest in the nation.  Baltimore is known for its rich cultural history, its educational and medical institutions, creative and business communities, and professional sports teams. 

Baltimore is a City of neighborhoods and contrasts.  The City’s economic base was founded on industry including railroads, steel and shipping.  Since the 1950s, Baltimore’s economy has shifted toward a service economy.  The City’s population is 611,000.  Development and growth thrive in parts of the City, notably on its extensive waterfront; other areas of the City, however, struggle with   crime that is concentrated in areas of high poverty.   According to the 2010 census, the racial and ethnic breakdown of the City was:  Black:  63.7%, White: 29.6%, Hispanic:  4.2%, Asian 2.3% and other racial and ethnic groups:  3.3%.

The Police Department and the Police Commissioner have broad support from the community, including its political leaders, and its business and professional communities.  In the wake of recent challenges, Baltimore offers its next Police Commissioner the support and opportunity to establish meaningful change processes that bring best police practices to this community and strengthen the police department.

City Government

Baltimore is an independent city surrounded by two separate and independent municipal jurisdictions: Baltimore County and Anne Arundel County.   Mayor Catherine Pugh was elected to a four-year term in 2016 and took office in December 2016.  The City has a strong mayor form of government with its elected mayor responsible for the day to day operations of the City.  Public safety and police reform have been a core focus of Mayor Pugh’s administration.

The Police Department

The Police Department of Baltimore City (BPD) is one of the largest police departments in the nation.  BPD is a state agency and a separate legal entity from the City of Baltimore, which funds its operations.  BPD currently employs 2,519 sworn officers and 444 non-sworn personnel.  There are 102 vacant sworn positions and BPD is actively recruiting for those positions.  The City’s FY19 police budget of $551M includes funding to add 100 more sworn officers. 

With support from the city, community and private resources, the new commissioner will have the opportunity to establish a new approach that focuses on creating a team to address the multi-faceted challenges facing the department.  Currently, the agency operates with one Commissioner, one Deputy Commissioner, six Colonels, six Lieutenant Colonels, twenty-five Majors, fifteen Captains, 101 Lieutenants, 336 Sergeants and 2,028 Police Officers.  Police Officers, Police Agents and Flight Officers are represented by Unit I of the Fraternal Order of Police, Inc.; Sergeants and Lieutenants are represented by Unit II of the Fraternal Order of Police, Inc.

The Police Commissioner is appointed by the Mayor, with the appointment subject to confirmation by the Baltimore City Council.  The Police Commissioner is a direct report to the Mayor.   As chief executive officer of the Department, the Police Commissioner is the departmental authority in all matters of strategy, policy, operations, and discipline.  

The Ideal Candidate for Police Commissioner

The City is seeking a can-do, reform minded and proven leader with exceptional management, interpersonal, and communication skills and demonstrated experience in developing and maintaining effective working relationships with community and civic groups (including private-sector partners), police department employees and government leaders.  Experience working through a consent decree, in a community that has residents who suffer from strained relationships with police together with high crime, poverty and public health challenges in a large City and in a tense labor relations environment is highly preferred. 

The successful candidate will have the ability to form and lead strong, effective teams; develop efficient administrative processes that support an organization’s mission; a track record for effective team management and results-driven leadership; the ability to grow, strengthen and ensure the agency’s sustainability; a strong ability to organize effectively, delegate responsibility, solve problems quickly and communicate clearly.  The next Commissioner will be expected to expand upon progress made under the Consent Decree approved by the U.S. District Court in April 2017.  The successful candidate must foster integrity within the Department through leading by example, setting the tone at the top and strengthening the culture of fairness and respect throughout the agency while emphasizing improved police community relations. The successful candidate will further development of innovative policing practices and community engagement efforts of the Department, and have a proven track record of openness, transparency, and working with diverse communities. The successful candidate will be well versed in best practices in policing, and have the ability to work collaboratively with the Mayor, the City Law Department (headed by the City Solicitor appointed by the Mayor), the Office of the State’s Attorney, and other agencies to address issues of public safety in a holistic, inclusive, democratic governing environment.

The position requires a bachelor’s degree.  A master’s degree in criminal justice, police administration, business administration, or related field is strongly preferred.  A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible law enforcement experience is required, no less than five of which shall have been in a supervisory capacity.  An equivalent combination of education and experience that provides the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the job will be considered. Additional specialized education, such as the FBI National Academy, is desirable.

Once appointed, the Police Commissioner must obtain police certification in the State of Maryland.   Residency in Baltimore City is a requirement.


The City will offer a competitive compensation package with terms of employment that will support its commitment to a new approach to police management that will distinguish BPD as a model agency.  The City offers an excellent benefits package, including participation in the City’s sponsored defined benefit pension plan, strong health insurance coverage, a 457 deferred compensation plan, and other features. 

How to Apply

For immediate consideration, candidates should send a cover letter, résumé, and a list of five references by August 17, 2018 to: 

Andre M. Davis

City Solicitor

Department of Law

100 North Holliday Street, Suite 101

Baltimore, Maryland 21202

c[email protected] 


The position is open until filled.  Expressions of interest and applications will be received and maintained in strict confidence.

The City of Baltimore is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is dedicated to maintaining a diverse workforce.