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Looking for 'new ideas,' Baltimore mayor fires police commissioner

Looking for 'new ideas,' Baltimore mayor fires police commissioner

Following a record year in homicides, Baltimore's mayor fired the city's police commissioner, saying Friday that a change in leadership was needed to reduce crime more quickly.

"Today we have an initiative that (officially) started about 30 minutes ago and is specifically created to reduce violence", he added, describing a roll-out of additional officers throughout the day Friday who would be situated in areas prone to violence.

DeSousa didn't say how many more officers would be on patrol, and he at one point declined to say how long this surge would last, other than that it would go "for a while". Baltimore, which has shrunk over decades, now has about 615,000 inhabitants.

Besides the continued spike in homicides, Davis' 2 1/2-year tenure saw the city entering into a consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice over a pattern of civil rights violations. Los Angeles, with about 4 million residents, saw 305 homicides past year.

He said he intends to decentralize certain units and disperse officers from headquarters to the precincts, and reduce the sizable amount the department spends on overtime.

"(Davis) worked hard, but I'm looking for new...ways to change what we're seeing here every day", said the 67-year-old Democratic mayor, who was elected in 2016. He said he'll approach his role as a strategic thinker who knows the ins and outs of the department's operations as well as law enforcement approaches that have had success in other USA cities.

He said residents of Baltimore should expect to see a lot more uniformed officers on the street - starting right away.

Suiter, 43, was shot in the head with his own gun after struggling with his killer on November 15 in west Baltimore, police said.

"We're coming after them". "As one who has come up through the ranks, Commissioner-Designate DeSousa is widely respected by his fellow officers". At the risk of stating the obvious, more police officers on the streets is fine but hardly a long term solution.

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He appears to have the backing of the City Council and a number of Baltimore's civic leaders and organizers.

"My decision is because I'm impatient", Pugh said.

"I'm impatient", Pugh said during a news conference Friday morning.

Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defence and Educational Fund, tweeted that she was perplexed by the leadership change. Current Mayor Catherine Pugh thinks it's because Police Commissioner Kevin Davis isn't reducing the sky high murder rate fast enough and blames him for the chaos in the streets.

Some Baltimore residents were also skeptical that a veteran as entrenched as DeSousa could bring true reform.

"In 30 years, this is the best initiative I've seen".

Davis, the outgoing commissioner, replaced Commissioner Anthony Batts in July 2015 when then-Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake fired Commissioner Anthony Batts. He replaced Anthony Batts, the former police chief in Oakland who was sacked as Baltimore's top officer after homicides spiked following the death of Freddie Gray, a black man whose fatal spinal cord injury in police custody triggered massive protests.

Since the riots that tore the city apart and the federal government putting the city's police under the microscope, it's only gotten worse.