Here’s what we know about Anthony Batts, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s choice for police commissioner: he’s a Californian, he’s smart (a Ph.D. in public administration, an MBA too, and he has lectured at Harvard and taught at Cal State Long Beach), he has three kids, received the Long Beach PD’s award for heroism and he has served in some pretty tough parts of Northern and Southern California. On paper, at least, the guy looks like a solid choice. Read the press release, below, for more details. -The Eds.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake named Dr. Anthony W. Batts, D.P.A. commissioner of the Baltimore Police Department effective September 27, 2012. Batts comes to Baltimore with decades of law enforcement experience and leadership training, including his time as police chief of Oakland and Long Beach, California. Anthony Barksdale will remain acting commissioner of the Baltimore Police Department until Batts’ start date.
During his tenure as head of two of California’s large police agencies, Batts presided over major reductions in crime and violence. He is credited with reforming Oakland’s police agency to focus on data-driven policing. In Long Beach, he established an Office of Community Policing and reduced excessive force complaints, while simultaneously reducing crime, including reducing homicides by 37% from 2002 to 2007.
“Anthony Batts has what it takes to lead the Baltimore Police Department forward and to continue building on the progress the men and women of the BPD have made reducing crime and violence,” Mayor Rawlings-Blake said. “Making Baltimore a safer city will continue to be a major focus of this administration as we work to reach our goal of growing Baltimore by 10,000 families over the next decade. Families have a right to live in safe neighborhoods, and I will not be satisfied until Baltimore becomes the safest big city in America.”
“It is a great and humbling honor to be named commissioner of the Baltimore Police Department. Baltimore is a city that is easy to fall in love with and call home,” Chief Batts said. “Under the mayor’s leadership, and with her ongoing investment in smart crime fighting strategies, Baltimore is becoming a safer city, and its best days are ahead.”
Batts began his career in law enforcement in 1982 as a police officer working street patrol and narcotics cases for the Long Beach Police Department. From 1982 to 2002, Batts worked his way up the ranks in the department, holding various command positions, including deputy chief of investigations from 1999-2001, commander of South Patrol Division 1997-1998, commander of Field Support Division from 1995-1997, commander of Community Relations Division from 1992-1995, and commander of East Patrol Division from 1991-1992. In October 2002, he became chief of police, overseeing more than 1,600 employees and a $172 million budget. From July to October 2007, Batts was briefly entrusted to serve as city manager for Long Beach, overseeing twelve city agencies during a transitional period. He then resumed command of the department from October 2007 to October 2009.
Batts was then recruited to serve as chief of police for the Oakland Police Department from October 2009 to November 2011, where he developed a long-range strategic plan for the agency, while overseeing a $170 million budget and improving community outreach.
Since 2011, Batts has worked as CEO of The A. William White Group, a police consulting firm, and has served as a lecturer and researcher for the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government’s Program in Criminal Justice.
Batts holds a doctorate in public administration from the University of La Verne (1998), a master’s in business management from the University of Redlands (1988), and a bachelor’s in law enforcement administration from California State University, Long Beach (1986). Batts has also served as a professor for California State University, Long Beach.
Batts has received numerous awards, citations, and honors from community and business groups, educational and charitable organizations, governments, and national police organizations. His honors include the Governor’s Award for the most effective crime fighting program in California (1991), the NAACP Community Service Award (2006), and the Long Beach Police Department Meritorious Award for Heroism (1992). Batts has also participated in countless training programs, including Harvard’s Executive Session on Policing (2007), the FBI National Executive Institute (2004), and N.O.B.L.E Executive Training (1998).
Batts is the father of three children, is an avid mountain biker, and enjoys jazz concerts and sporting events.
Batts’ appointment as commissioner of the Baltimore Police Department will be submitted to the City Council for confirmation through the Executive Nominations Committee, chaired by City Councilman William H. Cole (District 11). Acting commissioner Barksdale, who has served as commissioner since Commissioner Frederick Bealefeld’s retirement, will continue to lead the department until Batts officially assumes command of the agency on September 27, 2012.
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