Deputy Commissioner Joseph W. Nixon will officially retire today after 32 years in the Baltimore Police Department during which he worked his way up to one of the top positions on the force.
Mr. Nixon, 54, headed the Human Resources Bureau, which is responsible for the personnel, education and training, fiscal and internal investigation divisions. He was unavailable for comment yesterday.
"He is a quiet, low-key kind of guy and didn't want to make a big deal out of it," said Sam Ringgold, a police spokesman, in explaining Mr. Nixon's reluctance to discuss his retirement.
"He and his wife gave retirement a lot of thought and decided it was time to move on," Mr. Ringgold said.
Mr. Nixon's retirement allows the department to continue the reorganization that began in March 1992, when the department reduced the command staff and realigned some of the bureaus and divisions. The moves were made to facilitate the department's new emphasis on community policing, which debuted in February in the Eastern District.
Yesterday, Police Commissioner Edward V. Woods issued a news release announcing the consolidation -- effective tomorrow -- of the Human Resources Bureau with the Services Bureau headed by Deputy Police Commissioner Michael Zotos.
The move reduces the number of bureaus in the department from four to three -- the other two are the Patrol and Operations Support bureaus -- and is expected to improve internal communication, Mr. Ringgold said.
The spokesman said the assignment of officers to the Patrol Bureau will remain a priority and that newly hired officers will be put on uniformed patrol in neighborhoods as part of the community policing program.