Former Oakland Chief Baltimore's Next Top Cop
Former Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts held that position for two years before resigning.
(UPDATE 10:02 p.m.)—Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's office has confirmed that former Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts is her nominee to be Baltimore’s next police commissioner.
The official announcement is expected to be made Tuesday.
The Baltimore Sun first reported Batts would be the next commissioner this afternoon, citing unnamed sources.
Batts also served as the police chief in Long Beach, CA before taking over in Oakland.
According to Belmont Shore-Naples, CA Patch, Batts was highly praised by city management when he left Long Beach, where he rose through the ranks of Los Angeles County's largest police department outside LAPD. After he went to Oakland, where he was hired by one mayor but got a new one after an election, Batts was widely reported to have bristled under the new mayor. He stepped down after only two years.
Batts and Oakland Mayor Jean Quan's relationship was tenuous at best, especially after he applied for the job as police chief in San Jose. The pair had a conflict about staffing of the police department, according to a New York Times article.
The number of officers in Oakland totaled 656 and Batts had recently told the Oakland City Council he needed 925 officers to execute his policing plan, according to the newspaper.
Baltimore City police employs more than 4,000 sworn officers and civilian personnel, according to the department's website.
"Less than a year into the job, Mr. Batts had grown disillusioned, telling people he was frustrated with his command staff and wished he had brought loyal followers with him from Long Beach," according to the New York Times.
Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke, who represents parts of Hampden, Guilford and Roland Park, said that she didn't want to comment on the news of Batts' hiring.
"I prefer local police commissioners, but I'm holding judgement until the City Council can meet with the new nominee," Clarke said.
Councilman Nick Mosby, who represents Reservoir Hill and parts of Hampden, said the mayor's office had undertaken a thorough vetting process and he looked forward to getting to know Batts.
"I look forward to working with with him and continue with the progress of the previous [police commissioner]," Mosby said.
Mosby said he was a little surprised at the announcement because he felt acting Police Commissioner Anthony Barksdale had "the upper hand" because he is a "Baltimore guy." Mosby added that Batts must be a "stellar guy" if he was chosen over Barksdale.
Lester Davis, a spokesman for City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young, wouldn't comment until he's had a chance to meet with Batts, which he expects to do in the next day or two.
According to a story from KGO-TV in San Francisco, Batts resigned in October 2011 from that job just two years after taking over that department’s top spot because he couldn’t handle that city’s "bureaucratic obstacle course."
Batts is replacing former Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III, who spent his entire career in Baltimore before retiring this summer.
Belmont Shore-Naples Patch Editor Nancy Wride contributed to this story.