Interim police chief named in Baltimore County

Published on: November 21, 2022 4:47 PM EST|Updated on: November 21, 2022 8:02 PM EST

6/16/22—A Baltimore County police car sits outside of the Public Safety Building and Police Department in Towson.

A week after the Baltimore county executive announced ridding the chief of police, his office named Col. Dennis J. Delp to serve as the job’s interim until a permanent replacement is hired.

In a news release Monday, County Executive Johnny Olszewski, Jr. announced new leadership positions in his administration and said Delp’s term starts Dec. 6. The county is conducting a national search to fill the job.

Delp was described as a 28-year veteran of the Baltimore County Police Department. He has held senior leadership roles including captain of the Training Section, Cockeysville Precinct and the Forensic Services Section. He’s a graduate of the FBI National Academy, and he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Organizational Leadership from the Johns Hopkins University.

Col. Dave Folderauer, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #4 president, said Delp’s appointment was a “solid selection.” He said Delp is well respected and holds the qualifications to do the job successfully.

“My hope is that the executive will exhaust looking locally and internally before going out nationally,” Folderauer said.

Olszewski described Delp as “highly respected.”

“I am thankful for his willingness to serve as interim chief of police as Baltimore County continues its search,” Olszewski said in a news release. “I am confident that his decades of experience in the department and proven leadership will help ensure Baltimore County remains a safe place to live, work, and raise a family.”

Delp’s selection comes after the county announced Chief Melissa Hyatt was not returning to the job. It happened months after the agency’s union called for her removal. She was the county’s first female police chief and started in 2019. Before that, she was with Baltimore City police for 20 years where she took over a police department struggling with vacancies of sworn officers, facing several wrongful death lawsuits against police officers and, soon after, a federal lawsuit alleging exams for police cadets unfairly discriminated against Black applicants.

She was also an incident commander during the 2015 unrest that followed Freddie Gray’s death from injuries sustained in police custody.

In May, Hyatt came under fire by the county police union, the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #4, which issued a vote of no confidence in her, writing that its members have lost all faith in the police veteran’s leadership. Among their complaints was Hyatt’s support of a disciplinary process for complaints about police officers that would have eliminated trial boards comprised of fellow officers.

Olszewski also announced that Sameer Sidh will be the new deputy administrative officer for economic development and infrastructure; Dori Henry was named chief of staff; Jennifer Aiosa will be the director of government affairs; and Sevetra Peoples-Brown chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer.

Baltimore Banner reporter Taylor DeVille contributed to this report.