Former interim Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Barksdale will serve as Baltimore’s next deputy mayor for public safety, Mayor Brandon Scott announced Friday.
A decade after leaving the Baltimore Police Department due to health reasons, Barksdale will now work with city officials, law enforcement and emergency services agencies to implement public safety policies. Barksdale will begin in his new role Monday, July 11.
“Barksdale is one of the smartest, and most knowledgeable crime-fighting professionals that we can bring to the table,” Scott said in announcing the appointment. “His track record speaks for itself. He will act with urgency to improve public safety for all of our residents, while continuing our progress on reforming BPD and implementing the Consent Decree.”
A West Baltimore native, Barksdale previously served as Baltimore police officer, deputy commissioner of operations for the Baltimore Police Department, and interim BPD commissioner.
During his tenure with BPD, homicides and violent crime both saw substantial drops. In 2011 Baltimore had fewer than 200 homicides for the first time in 30 years, according to a press release from city officials.
Since leaving the police department in 2012, Barksdale has worked as director of security for Horseshoe Casino, senior vice president of Assured Protection, and a national law enforcement analyst for CNN.
As deputy mayor for public safety, Barksdale will oversee the policies and operations of the city’s public safety agencies, including the Baltimore Police Department, the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement, the Baltimore City Fire Department, and the Office of Emergency Management.
The deputy mayor will also oversee the implementation of the city’s consent decree, as well as the city’s Comprehensive Violence Prevention Plan, Scott’s five-year strategy that aims to address gun violence holistically as a public health crisis.
“I plan on hitting the ground running to fulfill the Mayor’s vision for a safer, better Baltimore,” Barksdale said. “I feel the urgency from our residents and promise to work closely with the leadership at BPD, MONSE, BCFD, and OEM to protect our communities in a way that fulfills the requirements of the Consent Decree, engages in proven violence prevention strategies, and emphasizes constitutional – yet proactive – law enforcement.”
Barksdale will replace former Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Sunny Schnitzer, who left the role in February to serve as a policy advisor within the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance.