Colonel Melvin Russell's Retirement

A sad day in the history of Baltimore was the retirement of Chief Melvin Russell. Commissioner Michael Harrison said that Col. Russell gave everything he had.  A ceremony like this is only for a commissioner or chief executive.  "It has never been just a job. He took his job seriously. Policing should be tough on crime and soft on people. Serving the people in Baltimore is just as important as protecting them."

Acting Mayor Jack Young proclaimed the day Melvin Russell Day.  Col. Russell was the police academy first black valedictorian.  Leon Pickett said that you don't have to listen to him.  All you have to do is to watch him and follow his example.

Brandon Scott remembered him from 2007.  He and his friends thought that he was a drug dealer.  But he was doing undercover work.  He was a true leader, not just in good time.  He was the first person out there when things were going wrong.

Bishop Angel Muņoz said that after the riots after the death of Freddie Gray fear spread that Baltimore would explode but nothing happened because one man stood there.  That man was Col. Russell. 

Col. Russell told us that we are not in the business of tearing each other down.  We must stop abusing each other.  We must stop looking for revenge.  Speak positively and not negatively.  Fill our city with relationship equity all over again.

Even now I ask for forgiveness.  If I have offended any one during my time of service, please forgive me.  No, he did not do a prostration at this point.  But what he did say was very, very Orthodox.

At the end he first asked the young people and then everybody to say "I'm somebody.  I'm loved.  I'm a leader.  I'm a leader.  I'm a leader."

Commissioner Harrison then said, "You are always a member of this family."
 

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