Police Commissioner Michael Harrison today announced he has filled out his executive team with the hires of two deputy commissioners, one leading operations and the other helming the Public Integrity Bureau.
Michelle Wilson, an assistant Maryland attorney general and former Baltimore prosecutor, is tasked with the latter role, investigating claims of misconduct submitted by the public and from within the department.
“Having a civilian attorney heading up the police department’s internal affairs unit has become the national best practice,” Harrison said. “And this is the right time for that best practice to come to Baltimore.”
As The Sun points out, Wilson, who prosecuted homicides for four of her 10 years years with the city, has a somewhat acrimonious relationship with her former boss, Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby In a social media post, Wilson accused Mosby of lying on the stand in a lawsuit brought by a fired lawyer.
Also, former city prosecutor and assistant attorney general Michelle Wilson will be a deputy commissioner overseeing the bureau which includes internal affairs. Earlier this year, Wilson accused State's Attorney Mosby of lying on the stand in a civil trial https://t.co/B1QbJeWMjN pic.twitter.com/st8XBjlR50
— Justin Fenton (@justin_fenton) May 21, 2019
At a press conference today, Wilson said she thought it was important in her new role to rebuild public trust with inquiries into the department, and that citizens “know that they can come to us with any complaints, any issues, and that it will be investigated to the fullest extent.
Michael Sullivan, a veteran of the Louisville Police Department who has served as deputy chief since 2016, will lead the operations bureau, overseeing the day-to-day work of thousands of officers. The position was previously held by Andre Bonaparte, a former commander in the Eastern District who was brought out of retirement by former commissioner Darryl De Sousa.
Bonaparte initially served as deputy commissioner of support services, and was quickly moved to operations. The Sun found that, much like his boss De Sousa, Bonaparte hadn’t filed his property taxes for two businesses. He later presented records to the paper indicating he’d rectified the issue.
Harrison touted Sullivan as “one of the bright young minds of the law enforcement community,” and said his community-oriented approach and involvement in youth programs made him a good fit for the job.
In his remarks, Sullivan echoed Wilson’s comments about the need for public trust.
“And that means being accountable and holding police accountable when those situations arise,” he said. “I’ve done that in my past, and I’ll do it in the future here in Baltimore.”
Both Sullivan and Wilson will begin on June 10.
“I have no doubt that they will be able to hit the ground running,” Harrison said, “and when they do, they will play major roles in helping finalize a strategic vision for the department and, ultimately, make the Baltimore Police Department the finest police department in this country.”
With political turnover, ransomware and everything else going on in the city–to say nothing of Harrison’s attempts to turn around the maligned department–the commissioner was asked if there were challenges in trying to lure talent to these openings.
Noting that his chief of staff and deputy commissioner of the compliance bureau both relocated with him from New Orleans, Harrison said there’s still buy-in from people who see the vision of changing departmental culture and getting police in compliance with the reforms in the federally mandated consent decree.
“Despite everything that’s happening, people still want to come to Baltimore,” he said, “which speaks well of Baltimore.”
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