Harrison contract includes $275K salary, 3 percent raises and housing allowance

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Incoming Baltimore Police Commissioner and former New Orleans Police Chief Michael Harrison. Photo via NOPD/Twitter.

If confirmed by the Baltimore City Council, incoming commissioner Michael Harrison would have a five-year contract for $275,000 per year, plus minimum annual raises of 3 percent, to run the Baltimore Police Department.

Harrison would also be eligible for salary increases tied to “crime reduction metrics and subjective personal performance factors,” and any raises awarded to the Managerial and Professional Society, a labor organization representing administrators in city government, according to a copy of his contract.

The agreement, approved this morning by the city’s Board of Estimates, also includes other perks, such as relocation expenses, a housing allowance of $3,000 per month for up to 12 months during the first year of the deal, a pension and health and life insurance.

Harrison will assume the role of acting commissioner on Monday, after which he will hold a series of community meet-and-greets in all nine police districts. That’s also when he’ll start getting paid. Even if the city council were to reject his nomination, Harrison would still receive the remainder of his first-year salary for his troubles.

The $275,000 figure is more than the $260,000 Mayor Catherine Pugh had publicly fielded for her first pick to lead the BPD, Joel Fitzgerald. The Fort Worth police chief later withdrew his name from consideration after his son required emergency brain surgery.

And it’s also more than the last two police commissioners earned (Gary Tuggle, who will lead the department through the weekend, has served in an acting capacity). Darryl De Sousa, who briefly held the job before resigning amid federal tax evasion charges, was compensated $210,000. And Kevin Davis, lured to Baltimore from Anne Arundel County in 2015, received $212,000.

Harrison’s salary will be considerably higher than in New Orleans, where he was praised for turning the department around under a federal consent decree, the same monitoring agreement in place in Baltimore. There, he made $179,000 per year as superintendent, a job he started in 2014 after rising through the ranks over two decades. He’ll continue to pull in $160,000 annually as part of his pension with the New Orleans Police Department, per The Sun.

The city council’s Executive Appointments Committee will hold a hearing on Harrison’s nomination on March 4 at 5 p.m., Pugh’s office said earlier this week.

Brandon Weigel

Brandon Weigel

Brandon Weigel is the managing editor of Baltimore Fishbowl. A graduate of the University of Maryland, he has been published in The Washington Post, The Sun, Baltimore Magazine, Urbanite, The Baltimore Business Journal, b and others. Prior to joining Baltimore Fishbowl, he was an editor at City Paper from 2012 to 2017. He can be reached at [email protected]
Brandon Weigel


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