Alexandria's chief of police is on paid leave following a Saturday night DUI arrest.
David P. Baker was arrested at about 11 p.m. Saturday on a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol in Arlington.
Baker, 58, was driving an unmarked City of Alexandria car and crashed near the intersection of Interstate 66 and North Fairfax Drive. The driver of the other car suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to a local hospital.
Chief Baker's blood alcohol level was 0.19 percent, according to Arlington County police. The point at which one is considered "legally drunk" in Virginia is 0.08 percent.
Alexandria Executive Deputy Chief of Police Earl Cook has been made acting chief of police, effective immediately.
Baker issued a statement to officers that reads, "While I can only imagine the disappointment you feel, I want you to know how proud I am of each one of you, how privileged I am to work side by side with you, and how disappointed and angry I am with myself."
Baker family friend Steve Mason told News4 that the chief is very remorseful and wants to remain chief of police.
"When the way that he said, 'I think I've let you and the rest of the membership down,' in that way I think he was very apologetic," Cook said.
According to the City of Alexandria's web site, Baker is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and other professional development and leadership courses. His police career began in September of 1970 when he joined the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department.
After his retirement from the D.C. Force in February 1991 as a captain assigned to the Special Operations Division, he was chosen to fill a vacant Deputy Chief position in the Alexandria Police Department. He became Chief of Police in September 2006.
Baker is currently part of the Administration of Justice Advisory Committee for George Mason University. The committee provides advice to the department on its teaching, research, and outreach efforts, and is currently headed by former U. S. Attorney General Edwin Meese.
City leaders said getting behind the wheel after drinking is out of character for the Baker, who until now has had an unblemished record as Alexandria's top cop.
"Today, the Alexandria community is saddened and disappointed at this turn of events," said Mayor William Euille. "Chief Baker is a respected leader not only in his department but also in the community."
City Manager James Hartmann called the arrest "very disappointing." He will wait for an internal review before deciding whether to fire Baker.