By Chief Melvin Russell
To my dearest Baltimore and her supporters,
Over the last week some of you have heard of my leaving my beloved Baltimore Police Department (BPD). I want to start this note to you by saying that I love my city. It is “The Village” that I am proud of. This is the city of my birth place, my rearing, my education (shout out to Saint Ambrose, All Saints and, of course, Poly).
This is where I discovered my God, my purpose, and met incredible people along the way. I have experienced so much joy and pain serving and working with you to make Baltimore a great city. It has truly been my distinguished honor to have served and I would gladly do it all over again.
After almost 40 years of service, my departure is a difficult one, and I want to thank you for all you have done for me. So many of you have personally sown into my life, playing a major role in strengthening and molding me into who I am today. I have grown from being a teenager, uncertain about life, into what I’d like to think a man of kindness and compassion with a purpose to love and serve all people.
During my tenure with BPD, I strove to work relentlessly to be faithful and unwavering, serving my city with dignity, integrity, and passion. I will not forget how we connected through all of the engagements, dialogues, walks, opportunities to serve, and meetings that will forever be cherished memories in my heart and mind.
I don’t have to tell you that Baltimore is evolving and changing. This current season of change has brought a transition into my life. In just a few short days, I will no longer work for the BPD due to the restructuring that has eliminated the position in which I was serving. As a personal request, I ask you to give Commissioner Michael Harrison your full support as he navigates BPD into a world-class law enforcement agency that values its residents, serving and protecting them well.
We have a long way to go to capture the glorious city we will become, Baltimore. But I know we have the Spirit of greatness living within us. Despite my transition, it is my prayer that all of us set aside our differences to learn from one another and become a city of unity that thrives for the sake of love, peace, and a hope toward a pleasant tomorrow.
My beloved city; all of us, young, old, black, white, rich, and poor desperately need to come together to care for one another and dwell in peace.
I pray that our leaders of government, judges, businesses, preachers, and teachers will serve all people justly and honorably, and that they would learn to walk in truth and lead with selflessness.
To all first responders, what a privilege to serve alongside you. Mighty heroes, I implore you to continue to serve with dignity and compassion as if someone else’s quality of life depends on it, because it does.
Baltimore, we will get it this thing called love and service right and shock the nation, as we collectively raise our city to new heights.
I have tried to sow goodness, and I pray my service has not been in vain.
In closing, I believe everything that happens in our lives somehow works into the wonderful plan God has for our lives if we love and follow Him. My faith is strong, and my heart is forever with you.
To all of Baltimore and her supporters,
I will always Love U2Life! If you need me I can be reached at ChangeAgentMel@gmail.com.
A humongous THANK YOU to my family for all the years of your unwavering support! To GOD be the glory!