Former Chicago and Washington, D.C., police chief Charles Ramsey has amerged as a candidate to head the Baltimore Police Department, says the Baltimore Sun. Mayor Sheila Dixon, who is being challenged in a primary election next month, is considering both Ramsey and the city’s acting police commissioner, Frederick H. Bealefeld III, a 26-year veteran with broad support from within the department’s ranks.
Bealefeld took over in mid-July, after Dixon asked Commissioner Leonard Hamm to resign amid a serious spike in killings that has put the city on track for 300 homicides for the first time since 1999. As of last night, 205 people had been killed in the city, 27 more than during the same period last year. Dixon has pushed the police department to improve relations with some of the city’s most troubled neighborhoods while also tasking it with focusing on violent offenders and illegal handgun crimes. In one positive sign, the number of nonfatal shootings so far this month has declined by 42 percent – from 55 victims to 32 victims – from the same 27-day period last year.