Police commander retires
Some breaking news from the Baltimore Sun's police reporter Justin Fenton:
Baltimore police patrol commander John Dodson, a 27-year veteran, submitted his retirement papers Tuesday. His retirement is effective Nov. 1. Dodson oversaw the East Side patrol deployment, and his announcement comes after an unprecedented explosion of violence July 26 that saw 18 people shot in a span of five hours in the Northeastern, Eastern and Southeastern Districts.
Word around the police department was that Dodson was forced out (One officer described him as the “19th casualty” of last week’s violence), but police department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Dodson is leaving on his own terms.“
He put in 27 years with the Baltimore Police Department – there’s not much more anyone can ask of someone,” Guglielmi said. Dodson was appointed to his post in 2007 when Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III assumed control of the department.
The Sun's Julie Bykowicz tells me that when he was Eastern District commander, Dodson would hold prayer every Friday at Ashland and Luzerne, according to Elroy Christopher, who lives on Luzerne.
“He participated in everything around here,” said Christopher, a community leader for two decades. Christopher and another longtime Luzerne resident, R.B. Smith, told stories about how Dodson and the prayer group would play music and use speakers to project to the community. Occasionally, the men said, even the drug dealers who frequented Ashland would come join the group.
“It was our Friday evening ritual,” Smith said.