The honeymoon is over


(l-r) Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis and FOP Lodge No. 3 President Gene Ryan

There was a time when Baltimore’s police union supported Kevin Davis as police commissioner.  In fact, they praised now-former Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake for the “excellent choice” of Davis to succeed Anthony Batts.

That time was actually a year and a half ago; October 2015

Well times have certainly changed in the last year and a half.  They referred to Davis’ “failed leadership and mismanagement” in response to a WBAL-TV (Channel 11) news story that aired Wednesday night.

The media specialist the FOP is referring to is T.J. Smith.

Smith was a lieutenant in the Anne Arundel County Police Department; serving in the department since 1999.  He was asked to join his old boss Davis in Baltimore as chief spokesman for city police.  Smith took a one-year leave of absence in August 2015 to take the job as a civilian. (Capital Gazette)  That leave of absence ended last year.

Channel 11’s Jayne Miller reported on the terms of Smith staying in Baltimore as chief of public affairs for Baltimore Police.  While Smith gets sent to the city, Anne Arundel in return receives two city drug detectives who work under the county’s supervision.  The bulk of Smith’s salary is paid for by Anne Arundel County – $91,570 – while the city kicks in $45,000.

Davis in a tweet responding to Miller said the documents she was reporting on aren’t new.

At the very least, the Board of Estimates – which included Rawlings-Blake, Council President Jack Young and Comptroller Joan Pratt at the time – was aware of the arrangement between the city and Anne Arundel County.  It was part of the routine agenda at the board’s Aug. 10, 2016 meeting.

Young at the time had concerns about the city also paying part of Smith’s salary.  But he approved the expenditure to keep Smith.  It should be noted that items on the Board of Estimates routine agenda are approved collectively, although members can vote no on specific items.

Lester Davis, Young’s spokesman, said the council president is pleased with Smith’s performance.  However, they are looking at the officer shortage at a district level where two officers can make a difference.

Mayor Catherine Pugh announced she will pay $3 million to hire 100 officers. (Baltimore Sun)  That’s in addition to 100 officers that will be reassigned to patrol duty by the end of the month.

Meanwhile, the FOP continues to troll on twitter.

The FOP told The Baltimore Sun that the city was at a “tipping point” of not being able to protect the city.  Davis called the use of the term “tipping point” offensive. (Baltimore Sun/CityPaper)