BALTIMORE — The NAACP of Baltimore is calling on city leaders to conduct a national search for a new police commissioner and withdraw the nomination of Richard Worley for the position.
Mayor Brandon Scott earlier this month announced histo fill the role full-time after .
Worley, the Deputy Commissioner, is serving in an interim role until the permanent position is confirmed by the Baltimore City Council.
“He must not become commissioner without a thorough vetting that includes interviews and input from relevant organizations,” NAACP Baltimore President Kobi Little said. “We call on Mayor Brandon Scott to withdraw his nomination of Acting Commissioner Worley and to start the process over in a transparent and inclusive manner that includes community input or the necessary qualities that we would like to see in the next commissioner and includes a nationwide search. The safety of our city relies on it.”
The nomination of Worley received approval from several city council members on social media.
However, Little said he was surprised and disappointed that Baltimore City leaders went ahead and vouched for the current acting commissioner.
“It is critical that our next commissioner is appointed through a transparent process that includes community engagement and real participation,” Little said. “it is truly concerning that the general public, nor local community-led groups have been fully made aware of the process or how to be engaged. This process needs to be transparent, and inclusive of community voices to attempt to repair the damages that have been done. We cannot move forward without it.”
Harrison was hired from New Orleans through a national search in 2019.
Little believes the same process should be made for the next police commissioner.
“We are saddened we have to have this press conference today,” Little said. “It is our hope that we have a Baltimore Police Department that is marked with equity and is part of a strategy that is to build peace in Baltimore City and to advance equity to repair the damage that has been done by mass incarceration and the war on drugs by racial profiling and by an antagonistic history with the African-American community and other communities in Baltimore.”
Worley is a Baltimore native who joined the Baltimore Police Department in 1998.
He started on patrol in the Western District and was later promoted to Lieutenant of that district and then Major.
Worley was appointed Chief of Detectives in 2021 before being named Deputy Commissioner in September 2022.
“Our statement is about the process,” Little said. “The only issue of concern for us is that three weeks have gone by and this acting commissioner has not reached out to the very active coalition of civil society organizations that have been working to end police violence and police terror and bring about police accountability. That is a tremendous oversight. He has to do the work to show that he understands the vital role that our organizations play, not only in the selection process but in the ongoing process of reforming the Baltimore Police Department to maintaining community relations in Baltimore City and building peace and security of all people in Baltimore.”
Homicides in Baltimore are down by nearly 40 compared to this time last year.
But Little said a concern is how the police department responds to armed suspects with illegal guns.
You could read more of this CBS News article here.