Baltimore Police Commissioner Bealefeld Still Playing Defense


Almost three years into his job as Baltimore police commissioner – approaching the expiration date for his predecessors in the past decade – Frederick Bealefeld is still defending himself, says the Baltimore Sun. And not just to his fellow officers, who have seen enough drive-by commissioners and half-baked policing strategies the past few years to be skeptical of anyone with stripes on his sleeves.

Each week sees Bealefeld again taking to the airwaves, decrying the latest brutal or spectacular crime and chastising suspects with his trademark colloquialisms, calling them “morons,” “idiots,” “knuckleheads,” or often “bad guys with guns.” He has been forcefully defending his agency against proposed budget cuts that he calls “unconscionable.” Homicides are at a 20-year-low and have continued to fall this year, along with a decline in gun violence. Yet the commissioner – who might be the most successful in a decade, if statistics mean anything – is standing before groups of officers, or addressing the public at neighborhood functions or on newscasts, struggling to convince them that the city is improving, not spiraling into chaos.

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