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Baltimore County Executive John Olszewski, Jr. announced in a press release his nomination of former Baltimore City Police commander Melissa Hyatt to become the next county police chief, replacing the soon to be retired current chief Terrence Sheridan.
The press release announcing the move stated:
“This was an important decision for the residents of Baltimore County and the officers of the Baltimore County Police Department,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “We had an extremely talented pool of candidates to choose from, making the selection a difficult one, but Chief Hyatt stood out as the right candidate for this position. I am confident that she brings the leadership and vision necessary to continue to build a safer and better Baltimore County.”
Ms. Hyatt is a native of Baltimore County and previously was the VP of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine’s security division. She also served 20 years as a member of the Baltimore City Police Department and has other credentials that make her a highly qualified candidate.
Johnny O’s pick for the first female police chief in the county’s history must be confirmed by the county council.
Earlier, The Baltimore Post had predicted that the next police chief would come from within the ranks of the current commanders.
Olszewski announced in a statement that his administration was conducting a nationwide search for a candidate to replace the retiring Chief Sheridan.
Johnny O also announced that there would be two meetings in which the public could voice their opinions on the police chief search–one on the east side of Baltimore County and another on the west side.
We wondered how the citizens could take an active role in this pivotal decision without having any background information on the candidates. We saw what happened in Baltimore City when the search for the next police commissioner went awry because of improper vetting.
With the police chief slot filled, we cast our eyes toward another “nationwide search” to replace the former County Administrator Fred Homan. That search, believe it or not, led right back into Baltimore city.
The Baltimore Post would be remiss if we did not question these supposedly nationwide searches for top leadership roles in the Olszewski administration.
During the search for both the county administrator and the police chief, the Olszewski administration claimed they wanted community input. However, no information on the applicants was released. How can you get input on candidates that nobody knows?
Only time will tell if the choices for these two key positions in county government will be a reflection of Baltimore City’s long-troubled history.