TOWSON, MD—Baltimore County Police Department Chief Melissa Hyatt on Monday night issued a response to a letter from the Fraternal Order of Police seeking her removal.
After their meeting on Monday night, members of FOP Lodge 4 sent a letter to Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski stating that they had lost confidence in Chief Hyatt and requesting that she be ousted as Chief of Police.
Chief Hyatt did not address any of the specific incidents cited in FOP Lodge 4’s letter, instead opting to provide the following statement:
On June 17, 2019, I was sworn in as the 14th Chief of Police for the Baltimore County Police Department. As a lifelong resident of our County, I fully appreciated the responsibility entrusted to me as the Chief of Police.
When I arrived, I quickly discovered that our Department already had a strong foundation and its members were dedicated and hard working law enforcement professionals. I also enjoyed a productive working relationship with the prior union leadership, which included open and frequent communication.
Unfortunately, a small group of my critics from within the current police union leadership have encouraged its members to request my removal from office. While I am disappointed to learn about this effort, I will not be discouraged.
For the past three years, I have had the honor to lead our Police Department and support the extraordinary efforts of our members.
Department members have the opportunity to participate in focus groups, listening sessions, and open forums to provide their feedback. This is in addition to establishing a dedicated police union liaison and an e-mail address that allows for direct communication between any member of the agency and myself.
My work has been, and will continue to be, focused on our commitment to crime reduction, building and maintaining meaningful relationships within the community, increasing accountability, expanding our employee wellness program, and providing the best training and equipment to our members.
I continue to be grateful for the support from the community we serve, our County Executive, and the County Council. Their collective investment in our mission is an integral part of making public safety a priority here in Baltimore County.
It is a challenging time to work in the law enforcement profession. I am extremely proud of the exceptional work that our members do on a daily basis, as we navigate together through unprecedented police reform legislation and a global pandemic.
I remain committed to leading the members of our police department and will not be deterred or distracted from ensuring that we continue to provide the highest level of service to all of the communities throughout Baltimore County.