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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 , 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.

Dave August 27, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Great. Another commissioner who knows nothing about Baltimore. And he had trouble with the bureaucracy in Oakland. Wait till he sees the bureaucracy in Baltimore.
ralahinn1 August 27, 2012 at 10:52 PM
I miss Don Pomerleau :(
Mike Ruehle August 28, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Have people forgotten? Tony Batts was above the law and covered up his history of domestic violence while Long Beach police chief. http://www.longbeachcomber.com/story.aspx?artID=1563 http://www.longbeachcomber.com/story.aspx?artID=2368 Batts announced his Oakland resignation amid warnings the federal courts could take over the Police Department for Batts failing to comply with a court ordered consent decree. http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Oakland-chief-resigns-as-police-takeover-2327534.php http://informant.kalwnews.org/2011/10/oakland-police-chief-anthony-batts-resigns/#more-10857 People forget Batts secretly applied (and was turned down) for the San Jose police chief job after only one year on the job as the Oakland police chief. Furthermore, Batts mislead the police union and publicly lied to the newly elected Oakland mayor and City Council when he said he had no plans to leave the Oakland Police Department. Yet, it was later shown Batts had already secretly applied for the San Jose job. http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/San-Jose-doesn-t-hire-Oakland-Chief-Anthony-Batts-2477577.php Also, Batts undermined his Oakland "bosses by announcing publicly that OPD would no longer respond to some types of service even though past chiefs with fewer resources were able to do so." http://www.eastbayexpress.com/ebx/will-jean-quan-fire-anthony-batts/Content?oid=2414206
Mike Ruehle August 28, 2012 at 07:43 PM
If you don't believe the above article about Long Beach Police Chief's cover-up of his history if domestic violence, maybe you will believe the linked letter from retired Long Beach Police Lieutenant Joe Rabe confirming the cover-up (among other things) . If you don't believe him, try talking to some of the police officers forced by Batts to resign because they chose to not support Batt's multiple cover-ups, another one being Lobstergate. http://www.longbeachcomber.com/story.aspx?artID=2393&arc=1
Mike Ruehle August 28, 2012 at 07:44 PM
http://www.longbeachcomber.com/story.aspx?artID=2393&arc=1 “We all knew of his domestic violence issues, but Tony was Teflon coated; the rules didn’t apply to him, both in his mind and unfortunately in the minds of his superiors.” Joe Rabe Lieutenant, LBPD (ret)
Jan August 30, 2012 at 12:31 AM
It was under Batts rule that thousands of Oakland citizens marched in protest of police violence. It was under his direction that passive students were famously pepper sprayed. This guy left Oakland in a mess.

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