Several insiders seek top job

October 17, 1993|By David Simon | David Simon,Staff Writer

The Baltimore Police Department may be a troubled agency, but many of its commanders and former commanders are convinced not only that they're not a part of the problem, they're the solution. At least a half-dozen are seeking to become the new commissioner:

* Deputy Commissioner Eugene Tanzymore, who has strong support among influential black ministers, is lobbying hard, sources say.

Mr. Tanzymore, well-liked by his troops as a district commander, has struggled as head of the patrol force. His turf battle over a new violent crimes task force damaged that unit so badly that a year later, fresh commanders are still attempting repairs. More recently, sources say, he has been tarnished by his willingness to leave Western District drug officers in sensitive positions despite corruption allegations.

* Deputy Commissioner Michael Zotos, who has the support of influential city businessman John Paterakis, belatedly applied at the suggestion of Mr. Paterakis and other supporters, sources say.

Mr. Zotos handles administrative functions and is the liaison and security coordinator for Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke. He has limited field experience, but his long mayoral service could mark him for elevation.

* State Corrections Commissioner Richard Lanham, a protege of public safety Secretary Bishop L. Robinson, is reportedly also seeking the job.

Mr. Lanham, who retired as a colonel in the Baltimore department, had a long tenure as head of its internal investigations division. His appointment could send a signal amid reports of corruption.

* Maj. Ronald Daniels, the commander of the personnel division, is regarded by many officers as one of the agency's smartest and most competent midlevel commanders.

He has experience in street policing and has remained politically independent. Many believe he would be a full colonel but for his willingness to speak his mind. Still, the choice of a major for departmental command would be a leap.

* Similar criticism is heard about Maj. Alvin Winkler, the commander of the Eastern District, who also has support from influential black ministers, sources say. Mr. Winkler has experience with community-oriented policing that Mr. Schmoke values. The district is home to Baltimore's pilot study of the new philosophy.

Other possible contenders include: Maj. Steven Crumrine, who heads the department's budget office and has applied for the post, and Lt. Col. Marcellus Boles, community policing coordinator, and Maj. Linda Flood, Southwestern commander, who have said that they are considering applying.

Former Col. Joseph Johnson, a popular Baltimore commander now deputy chief of the Annapolis department, is interested, sources say.

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