By Kara Thompson,
MDDC Intern

On July 8, Mayor Brandon Scott announced that Baltimore’s next Deputy Mayor for Public Safety would be Anthony Barksdale.

Born and raised in Baltimore, Barksdale brings a thorough knowledge of Baltimore to his new position, as well as years of experience in law enforcement and a history of proactive public safety strategies. 

Previously, Barksdale served under former Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake as deputy commissioner of operations and interim commissioner. Before that, he served in a variety of roles within the Baltimore Police Department (BPD). 

During his time at BPD, there were significant drops in homicides and violent crimes — Baltimore had less than 200 homicides in 2011, a first for the city in nearly 30 years. Since leaving the police department in 2012 due to health reasons, Barksdale has held various other positions, such as one of CNN’s National Law Enforcement analysts, senior vice president of Assured Protection, and Horseshoe Casino’s director of security.

“Barksdale is one of the smartest and most knowledgeable crime-fighting professionals that we can bring to the table,” said Mayor Scott. “His track record speaks for itself. He will act with urgency to improve public safety for all of our residents while continuing our progress on reforming BPD and implementing the Consent Decree.”

Barksdale’s new role as deputy mayor will allow him to supervise Baltimore’s public safety agencies and the way they operate, as well as their policies.The public safety agencies include the police department, the Baltimore City Fire Department (BCFD), and the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement (MONSE). He will also be in charge of implementing the city’s Consent Decree and the Mayor’s Comprehensive Violence Prevention Plan, which is in partnership with MONSE. 

“I want to thank Mayor Scott for selecting me to fill this critical role,” said Barksdale. “I plan on hitting the ground running to fulfill the Mayor’s vision for a safer, better Baltimore. I feel the urgency from our residents and promise to work closely with the leadership at BPD, MONSE, BCFD, and OEM (Office of Emergency Management) to protect our communities in a way that fulfills the requirements of the Consent Decree, engages in proven violence prevention strategies and emphasizes constitutional – yet proactive – law enforcement.”

Barksdale, who grew up in West Baltimore, graduated from Baltimore Polytechnic Institute and currently resides in Baltimore City. He is taking over a position left by Sunny Schnitzer, who left the role of Deputy Mayor for Public Safety back in February to join the Biden Administration as a policy adviser in the Department of Justice. To select Barksdale for this position, the Mayor’s Office went through an intense process that was highly competitive.

Barksdale’s new role began on July 11.

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