Californian named police commissioner

December 20, 1993|By Eric Siegel | Eric Siegel,Staff Writer

Thomas C. Frazier, deputy chief of operations for the San Jose, Calif., Police Department, was named today to be Baltimore's police commissioner.

Mr. Frazier, 48, a 27-year veteran of the San Jose department, will assume his duties Jan. 30, subject to confirmation by the City Council.

Introducing Mr. Frazier at a news conference today, Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke praised his choice as a "outstanding administrator, leader and crime fighter."

Mr. Schmoke described Mr. Frazier as a "person who understands policing and community concerns, someone who can talk effectively with people whether on the streets or in the suites."

The mayor said he was impressed by, among other things, Mr. Frazier's involvement in a number of social programs, including one dealing with drug and alcohol rehabilitation and one dealing with battered women.

Mr. Frazier, a finalist for the police commissioner's job in four other cities, said he wanted the job because he wanted to head a department and because "I think I have something to offer. I think I can make a difference."

The appointment of Mr. Frazier, the architect of San Jose's community policing plan, comes a week after Baltimore recorded its 336th homicide -- breaking last year's record of 335. Mr. Frazier noted that the majority of Baltimore's murders were either drug- or domestic violence-related, and he said those categories of homicide are "the right place to start" in reducing the city's murder rate.

He said administrative changes could be made to free more officers to patrol open-air drug markets, but he also stressed the need for prevention in cutting demand for narcotics.

If his appointment is confirmed by the council, as expected, Mr. Frazier, who succeeds Edward V. Woods, will earn $106,000 a year -- $13,000 more than the job was advertised for.

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