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Annapolis mayor fires police chief

Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley speaks by a flagpole in Annapolis, Md., on Tuesday, July 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Brian Witte)

WASHINGTON — The city of Annapolis is looking for a new police chief. Mayor Gavin Buckley announced last night that police chief Scott Baker is out, effective March 20.

Buckley wants “to see a change in the direction and culture” of the city’s police department, the mayor said in a statement.

Baker was appointed police chief in 2017 by the city’s previous mayor. Since then, the murder rate has fallen from 10 a year to one, and overall violent crime has also declined. Community engagement programs have also been implemented in parts of the city where crime is an issue.

But Buckley told the Capital Gazette newspaper even with the noticeable increase in community outreach, it’s not enough progress for him.

“We can be doing a lot on paper, but it doesn’t matter if we’re not feeling it on the ground,” he told the Capital Gazette.

In recent years, there have been a handful of incidents that have sowed distrust along racial lines in parts of the community.

Baker took a trip out of town after he was told of his firing by the city manager on Wednesday, according to the Capital Gazette. Buckley said he hasn’t actually spoken to Baker about the decision yet, but will do so when Baker comes back.

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