A month ago today, it was leaked that Fort Worth Texas Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald would be the next Baltimore Police Commissioner. That leak was supplemented by comments from Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. Price told her local media that it appeared that Fitzgerald had accepted the Baltimore commissioner’s job and would be leaving Fort Worth. Mayor Catherine Pugh quickly plugged that leak, saying no selection had been made and that the process was still ongoing.
Fast forward to this past Friday when it was learned that Fitzgerald was officially Mayor Pugh’s choice to be the city’s next police commissioner. The mayor says she believes Joel Fitzgerald is best suited to lead the department forward; that he understands consent decree, the need for reform, training and community engagement. Fitzgerald will serve as acting commissioner until the city council confirms him. In defending her choice, the mayor said it’s "the most scrutinized selection of a police chief" in Baltimore history. Pugh also promised that she and her administration will reduce violence in the city.
Fitzgerald would be Baltimore’s fourth police commissioner this year. Kevin Davis was fired by Mayor Pugh in January because of the escalation of crime in the city. Darryl De Sousa replaced Davis. De Sousa resigned in May after charges of failing to file federal taxes for three years were leveled against him. Gary Tuggle has served as Interim Police Commissioner since that time. Tuggle was in the running for the permanent job, but withdrew his name from consideration.