The city of Baltimore, Maryland recently had an opening for a new Chief of Fiscal Services at the Police Department. After going through the usual process of receiving applications and conducting interviews, they selected Dana Hayes. Mr. Hayes was officially hired on April 11. Not even two weeks later, Hayes was given his walking papers and the position is once again open. So what could have gone wrong so quickly? Apparently, there were no issues with Mr. Hayes’ performance during his brief time on the job. The problem was that he turned out to be a “person of interest” in an ongoing homicide investigation. Oops. (CBS Baltimore)

Baltimore’s citizens are reacting to a scandal at the Baltimore Police Department.

The department recently had to fire its new chief of fiscal services because he is a “person of interest” in a homicide investigation, Police Chief Michael Harrison confirmed Wednesday.

A spokesperson for the department confirmed the official’s identity as Dana Hayes and said he was hired on April 11.

The department was quick to point out that Hayes isn’t actually a suspect in the case and there isn’t an outstanding arrest warrant for him (yet). He was just tangentially involved in some fashion.

But that wasn’t all that turned up in his background once the press began digging into the details. Hayes also shows up on the city’s gun offender registry. He was added to the registry in 2019 after he was arrested and charged with “multiple gun violations in 2018.”

Apparently when Mr. Hayes was filling out his application for the job he neglected to list “gang banger” on his resume.

Look, I’m not faulting Dana Hayes for at least trying to land a job with the police department. For all we know, he’s somebody who got off on the wrong track and got in trouble for a while but now he’s trying to clean up his act and turn his life around. Good for him, and I wish him the best. But Dana Hayes isn’t the problem here. It’s the Baltimore Police Department and the municipal government that are at fault.

The Baltimore PD is required to do background checks before hiring a candidate. They say that such a check was done for Hayes but some details were missed. It’s an issue that is “being corrected as we speak,” according to the Chief of Police. But how do you miss that many red flags?

An arrest shouldn’t bar anyone from being able to land a new job and get their life in order. Hopefully, that’s what Hayes is in the process of doing. But the Police Department has higher standards and they don’t seem to be enforcing those standards in Baltimore at the moment. The Mayor has ordered the Baltimore City Chief Human Capital Officer to conduct “a thorough review” of the BPD’s civilian hiring practices. But at least for now, this is just one more public black eye for the department in a city that is still being crushed by an out of control murder rate and endemic gang violence.

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