Frederick H. Bealefeld III, Baltimore’s acting police commissioner and a 26-year veteran of the city’s police department, was named commissioner today by Mayor Sheila Dixon, the Baltimore Sun reports. Bealefeld took over in mid-July, after Dixon asked Commissioner Leonard Hamm to resign amid a spike in killings that put the city on track for 300 homicides for the first time since 1999. There have been 231 homicides in Baltimore so far this year.
His main competitor for the job had been Charles Ramsey, who left in December as Washington, D.C.’s police chief. Bealefeld has steadily climbed the department’s ranks and is seen as a hands-on, street-savvy veteran. He typically spends several hours a day driving on city streets, talking to officers on their beats, and visiting crime scenes involving shooting and homicide investigations. Paul Blair Jr., president of the city police union, has said he believed his members would support Bealefeld “110 percent” over Ramsey.