35-Year Department Veteran Robert McCullough Nominated To Become Baltimore County's Next Police Chief


Credit: Baltimore County Government/ YouTube

BALTIMORE COUNTY - Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski announced his nomination for Baltimore County's next police chief on Friday. Col. Robert McCullough, a 35-year veteran of the department, is set to take the job.

"He is the right chief at the right moment to lead the Baltimore County Police Department into the future," Olszewski said. "McCullough has shown the pride and innovation necessary to set new standards for the police force."

McCullough's prolific career with the department started as a cadet in 1995. He quickly climbed the ranks, becoming a Sergeant by 1997. ​​During his time as a sergeant, McCollough supervised the new community-based programs for juveniles, including mentoring and summer camps.

McCullough was made a lieutenant in 2001, where he served on several internal and external task forces and committees, including the Anti-terrorism Advisory Council. During this time, he also served as the on-call Public Information Officer and hosted the cable television program "Police Report."

Several promotions later, McCullough was named Colonel and Operations Bureau Chief in 2020. As a colonel, he managed a patrol division that included three separate areas encompassing a territory of more than 600 square miles and with a population of more than 800 thousand citizens.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, McCullough received praise for managing contact tracing for the Baltimore County Police and serving as the liaison to the health officer.

McCullough retired from the department in 2021 but says that returning to the department as the chief fulfills a life-long dream.

"I am honored & humbled to rejoin the department where I started my public safety career and to have the opportunity to lead the brave men & women of the Baltimore County Police Department," McCullough said. "I remember when I was the only African American on my shift; that reality motivated me to be the best I can be in everything I did."

Upon confirmation by the Baltimore County Council, McCullough will become Baltimore County's first African American chief. He is set to succeed former chief Melissa Hyatt, who stepped down last year. Interim Chief Dennis Delp will return to his role as colonel.

Baltimore County Council Chairman Julian Jones and Baltimore County Councilman David Marks have already expressed their support for the nominee.

"I am certain he will be a fine chief, and I look forward to confirming his nomination very soon," Jones said.

"Our most fundamental priority in local government must be public safety -- replenishing the ranks of our police force, investing in firefighters and paramedics, and strengthening our neighborhoods. I've had numerous conversations with police officers, and they respect Col. McCullough's many years of service to the county. I welcome his nomination and look forward to the confirmation process," Marks wrote in a statement.

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