Latest: Baltimore police leader pledges violence reduction
Jan. 19, 2018
BALTIMORE (AP) — The Latest on the firing of Baltimore's police commissioner (all times local):
The new leader of the Baltimore Police Department is pledging to fight violent crime by putting more uniformed officers on the streets, an effort he says is already underway.
Darryl DeSousa, who was tapped Friday to replace Commissioner Kevin Davis, said at a news conference that additional uniformed officers began rolling out at 9 a.m.
DeSousa says he has a message for "the trigger pullers." He says "we're coming after them."
DeSousa, a 30-year veteran of the force who rose through the ranks, emphasized that all policing would be done in a "constitutional manner."
Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh says she replaced Davis because she was "impatient" that efforts to reduce crime weren't moving more quickly.
Baltimore ended 2017 with 343 killings, bringing the annual homicide rate to its highest ever — roughly 56 killings per 100,000 people.
Baltimore's mayor has replaced the city's police commissioner, saying a change in leadership is needed to reduce crime.
A news release from Mayor Catherine E. Pugh's office Friday morning says Deputy Commissioner Darryl DeSousa will take Kevin Davis' place. The release says DeSousa, a 30-year veteran of the force, will assume responsibility immediately.
The mayor's office says the 53-year-old DeSousa is a city resident whose appointment will be made permanent following "appropriate approvals."
Violent crime rates in Baltimore have been notoriously high for decades and the city has recently been dealing with increasing homicides. The city ended 2017 with 343 killings, bringing the annual homicide rate to its highest ever - roughly 56 killings per 100,000 people.
A news conference is scheduled for later Friday morning.