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Richard Worley confirmed as Baltimore's 41st Police Commissioner, James Wallace voted in as fire chief

Richard Worley confirmed as Baltimore's 41st Police Commissioner, James Wallace voted in as fire chi
Richard Worley confirmed as Baltimore's 41st Police Commissioner, James Wallace voted in as fire chi 03:28

BALTIMORE -- Mayor Brandon Scott's picks to lead the city's police department and fire department have been confirmed by the Baltimore City Council.

The council confirmed Richard Worley as the next Baltimore Police Commissioner and James Wallace as the next fire chief.

Both men have been serving as interim leaders of their agencies for some time now.

These confirmations happened during the city council's meeting Monday night.

There was some commotion before Worley was confirmed.  

A small group of people against Worley's confirmation brought signs and disrupted the meeting and after he was confirmed they had to be escorted out.

Worley has been with the Baltimore Police Department for 25 years. He was first nominated for the job of commissioner by the mayor in June.

"This is a really important vote," Baltimore City Council President Nick Mosby said. "We're at a really vital point in our city as it relates to public safety and crimefighting and we understand and know there has been a tremendous amount of instability at the police department."

During Monday night's vote, several council members spoke out about why they thought Worley should or should not get the job.

"Having someone that can take the reins immediately is important," Baltimore City Councilmember Kristerfer Burnett said.

Councilman John Bullock also voted in favor of Worley.

"There is no perfect candidate," Worley said. "There will be no perfect candidate. There will always be someone who has some flaws and things we can correct."

A few of them brought up the recent murder of young tech CEO Pava LaPere and the fact the public was not notified about her alleged killer who had committed another violent act just days prior.

"I want to be clear, if BPD produces this type of performance again, of what happened in the past two weeks, I will not hesitate to call for his resignation publicly," Baltimore City Councilmember Eric Costello said. "I vote 'yes,' Mr. President."

Ultimately, the only council member who voted against Worley's confirmation was Phylicia Porter, who represents parts of south Baltimore and Brooklyn Homes.


The city's largest-ever mass shooting happened in Brooklyn Homes. Two people were killed and 28 others were injured.

"I cannot confidently commit to affirming a leader of this department without serious thought to our public safety leaders in Baltimore," Porter said.

Worley submitted a letter of intent to Scott regarding his plans to move into the city limits and remain there during his term as commissioner. 

The council also unanimously confirmed James Wallace as the next Baltimore City Fire Chief.

He's been serving in that role since former chief Niles Ford resigned last year following the release of an investigative report into the fire that happened on Stricker Street that killed three city firefighters in January of 2022.

Mayor Scott issued a statement about the confirmations.

He thanked the council members for voting in favor of them and said, in part:

"… I know that our police and fire departments will continue to build on the progress we have made under my administration to build a better, safer Baltimore for all."

Swearing-in ceremonies for both positions will be held on Thursday, Oct. 5. 

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