Most seemed stunned to hear of the unexpected retirement of Fred Bealefeld after 31years with the Baltimore City Police Department, the last five as commissioner.
Although sad to make the announcement, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said in a statement, that she “respects his decision to retire after decades of service to spend more time with his family.” She noted his love for the job and pride at serving “with honesty and integrity for these many years. He has been an extremely effective leader that we will miss.”
She also wished for him “the best retirement.”
Bealefeld was appointed by former Mayor Sheila Dixon, who counts this as one of her best decisions, according to WBAL Radio. She called him an “exceptional person” and expressed surprise at his retirement because of his love for the work and the city.
During his tenure as commissioner, the city homicide rate continually decreased, registering fewer than 200 last year for the first time since the 1970s.
“This is the right time,” he said in a statement. “I am very proud of the men and women of the BPD for all that we have been able to accomplish together over the last five years, and I am looking forward to enjoying retirement with my family and close friends.”
His official date is Aug. 1 so the national search for his replacement will begin immediately.