Robert McCullough, a resident of Randallstown and 35-year veteran of the Baltimore County Police Department (BCPD), is the department’s new chief and the first African-American in that post. After the County Council confirmed him on April 17, McCullough was sworn in on April 18 to helm the nation’s 21st largest police agency. His salary is $275,000.
A packed auditorium of community leaders, elected officials and family members celebrated the historic occasion at the Randallstown Community Center. In his swearing in ceremony remarks, County Executive Johnny Olszewski, who nominated McCullough for the position after a nationwide search, said identifying the right people to lead the BCPD is among the most important decisions to be made. He said McCullough is the “right chief at the right moment to lead the department into the future” with equitable, accountable community policing. The department is made up of 2,300 personnel including 1,850 sworn police officers.
A Randallstown resident who has lived in the county for over 30 years, McCullough will rejoin the department after retiring as a colonel and operations bureau chief in 2021. His highly decorated career began in 1985 at age 18 as a cadet and became a patrol officer in the North Point Precinct upon graduating from the police academy. McCullough served in a number of senior leadership roles, including bureau chief of criminal investigations, Eastern Patrol division commander, captain of the Wilkens Precinct, and the department’s Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness commander.
McCullough earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in management from The Johns Hopkins University, and completed the university’s Police Executive Leadership Program. He is a retired master sergeant in the Maryland Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserves.
“Every person who lives, works, and visits Baltimore County deserves to feel safe,” McCullough said. “I look forward to working with our officers, and the community to foster relationships built on trust, mutual respect, and a desire for safe, healthy and thriving communities.”
McCullough replaces Dennis Delp, who has served as interim chief since November 2022 and will remain with the department as a colonel. Prior to Delp, Melissa Hyatt served as the police chief—the first woman in that position. Hyatt’s four-year contract was not renewed.