Police/Fire, Politics

Olszewski nominates Robert McCullough to serve as Baltimore County Police Chief

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UPDATE: Robert McCullough has been sworn in as Chief of Police.

Original story below…


TOWSON, MD—Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski on Friday nominated Robert O. McCullough, to serve as Chief of the Baltimore County Police Department.

A 35-year veteran of the department, McCullough would be the first African-American to lead the nation’s 21st largest police agency.

“Keeping our communities safe is among the most sacred responsibilities of local government, and identifying the right leaders for our police department is among the most important decisions we make in ensuring that vision is a reality,” Olszewski said. “Robert McCullough is a barrier-breaking, homegrown leader with decades of experience who both understands the needs of our department — and the brave men and women who serve in it — and shares my values for 21st-century community policing. I am confident that under his leadership we can continue to strengthen accountability, promote more equitable policing, and keep Baltimore County’s residents and neighborhoods safe for years to come.”

McCullough will rejoin the department after retiring as a Colonel and Operations Bureau Chief in 2021. Over his 35-year career, McCullough, who started as a cadet at the age of 18, and became a patrol officer in the North Point Precinct upon graduating from the police academy, has served in a number of senior leadership roles, including Bureau Chief of Criminal Investigations, Eastern Patrol Division Commander, Captain of the Wilkens Precinct, and the department’s Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Commander. During the COVID-19 pandemic, McCullough managed contact tracing for the entire agency and served as the liaison to the Health Commissioner.

A Baltimore County resident for over 30 years, McCullough has received formal education through Johns Hopkins University’s Police Executive Leadership Program, Northwestern University Center for Public Safety’s School of Police Staff and Command, and the Senior Management Institute for Police, through the Police Executive Research Forum. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science and a Master’s of Science in Management from Johns Hopkins University.

“I am honored and humbled to rejoin the department where I started my public safety career, and to have the opportunity to lead the brave men and women of the Baltimore County Police Department,” said McCullough. “Every person who lives, works, and visits Baltimore County deserves to feel safe. I look forward to working with our officers, and the community to foster relationships built on trust, mutual respect, and a desire for safe, healthy, and thriving communities.”

McCullough will rejoin the Baltimore County Police Department, pending Council approval, replacing Interim Chief Dennis Delp, who has served in the role since November 2022. Delp will remain with the department.

“On behalf of all our residents, I thank Interim Chief Delp for his willingness to serve during this process and we will be forever grateful for his dedication to the people of Baltimore County,” Olszewski said. “Under his steady leadership the department has continued to make progress in serving our communities and we are thankful that this highly-respected and decorated veteran will continue to serve a trusted senior leader within the department.”

McCullough’s nomination is subject to confirmation by an affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the County Council.

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