About The Department
The Baltimore Police Department is dedicated to upholding the Constitution and enforcing laws in a fair, impartial, and ethical manner. We commit to creating and maintaining a culture of service that builds trust and legitimacy in all communities, values the sanctity of human life, and provides for the safety and well-being of all.
The Commissioner’s vision for the Department is built around seven core focus areas:
Reducing and preventing crime in the City of Baltimore is a core mission for our department, but it cannot be done by the BPD alone. By working collaboratively with our City’s residents, businesses, advocacy groups, non-profit organizations, faith leaders, elected officials, as well as with other city, state, and federal agencies, we can provide a multi-layer approach to solving underlying issues that lead to crime. BPD will develop effective deployment strategies that focus on those responsible for committing violent and property crimes and work with residents to address disorder problems that affect the quality of life in their neighborhood.
Community Engagement & Policing
While BPD is responsible for policing our community, it is also an integral part of it. We will only be successful in our crime reduction efforts by effectively engaging and listening to the needs of the people who live in the neighborhoods we protect. Working with and learning from our residents, our officers must focus toward fully understanding issues that impact our communities. We will work collaboratively with residents to create problem-solving strategies tailored to the challenges faced by specific neighborhoods and communities in our City.
Continuous Agency Improvement
BPD will improve policies and training, overhaul antiquated technology, and create accountability systems to provide better services to the community. Through these reforms, BPD will dramatically change its practices to ensure proper uses of force; constitutional stops, searches, and arrests; fair and impartial policing practices; and true community policing operations. BPD must embrace these reforms because the residents of the City of Baltimore deserve a world-class police force that inspires trust, ensures safety, and protects the constitutional rights of the people we serve.
Creating a Culture of Service and Accountability
With the reform efforts underway to improve how BPD operates, we must also instill a renewed sense of civic duty, honor, integrity, and a culture of accountability in our department. BPD will implement new performance management practices, better systems of tracking and measuring work performance, as well as new COMSTAT processes that actively challenge its Command Staff to provide strategies and solutions that are responsive to community needs.
BPD will adopt and embrace new technologies and new partnerships within and outside our agency. BPD must become more transparent and more connected, so that we break down information silos and focus our efforts in a coordinated and better organized manner.
Leadership development within BPD is the key to our department’s long term success. We will invest in better training, adopt improved systems of accountability, and improve how our department operates by hiring civilian professionals to manage administrative processes. We will also improve our recruitment, hiring, and retention efforts to ensure that we can increase our ranks to be able to fully respond to the needs of 21st century policing.
Effective communication has to be at the heart of everything we do in the Baltimore Police Department and we must effectively engage, actively listen, and work collaboratively with our residents to be successful. We will strive to improve and maintain effective lines of communication so that we can strengthen our relationships, build new relationships where there are none, and repair the relationships that were broken in the past.
Michael S. Harrison was sworn in as the Baltimore Police Department’s 41st Commissioner on March 12, 2019. Before coming to Baltimore, Commissioner Harrison served the New Orleans Police Department for nearly three decades. He joined the NOPD in 1991 and ascended steadily through the ranks. He served in supervisory assignments as an Assistant Commander and Commander of a patrol District and the Specialized Investigations Division of the Public Integrity Bureau. He was appointed to Superintendent in 2014 and led the Department for over four years.
Commissioner Harrison has been instrumental in the development, implementation and assessment of community policing programs that have led to demonstrably increased partnership and collaboration. Moreover, he is skilled at moving progressive law enforcement bills forward through legislature and effectuating evidence-based crime fighting strategies, many of which assisted in tangible crime reductions. Read more about Commissioner Harrison.
Those Who Made the Ultimate Sacrifice and Those Who Continue to Serve
Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line for the safety and protection of others. While crime nationwide is at a historic low, that protection comes at a price. For the past decade, an average of 146 law enforcement officers have been killed in the line of duty each year, and more than 20,000 law enforcement officers throughout U.S. history have given their lives in service to their communities.
The Baltimore Police Department has suffered 136 line-of-duty deaths, dating back to 1808.