Baltimore County Names Robert McCullough First Black Police Chief

Baltimore County Names Robert McCullough First Black Police Chief

Robert McCullough was named the first Black police chief of Baltimore County on Friday.

Though Baltimore is a city made up predominately of Black residents, there has never been someone who represented the demographic leading the charge on policing.

McCullough, who has worked in the community for over three decades, replaces former chief, Melissa Hyatt, the first woman in the position. Hyatt was relieved of her duties due to concerns about a hostile work environment, a failure to properly address violent crime, officers being ill-equipped to safely perform duties, and criticisms on her availability.

“Chief McCullough will be the first African American to lead our nation’s 21st largest police agency. He brings over 35 years of local homegrown experience working with and for our communities,” Baltimore County Executive Olszewski said.

McCollough, seemingly unshaken by the gravity of his appointment, shared straightforward remarks at a press conference over the weekend.

“My experience in the department and my mentors have helped shape me and fostered my growth as a person, as an officer, and as a leader,” he said. “I made it a point to pass along the lessons I’ve learned to every officer that wears our badge.”

He also acknowledged the very real and lasting distrust between the police and his community.

“Every person in Baltimore County deserves to feel safe and know they are safe in the places where they live, work, and raise their families,” he said.

McCullough returns to the department after a brief retirement in 2021.

When I began my career as a cadet in May of 1985, some would say the chance for someone who looked like me, an 18-year-old kid from West Baltimore, to become Chief of Police in Baltimore County was less than zero,” he said. “That reality motivated me to be the best that I could be at everything that I did.”