… King, former Gaithersburg chief and Montgomery assistant, started last month …
By Justin Fenton
11:42 AM EST, December 16, 2011
The Baltimore Police Department has reached outside its ranks to fill a top command position, hiring a former top official from Montgomery County to lead training efforts.
John A. King, the former police chief in Gaithersburg and a former assistant chief with the Montgomery County police department, was hired last month to lead the department’s education and training division, filling a vacancy when its commander was moved to a patrol position.
Police training, a priority of Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III, came under scrutiny by the commission investigating the fatal police shooting outside the Select Lounge in January. Police also said they were addressing high settlement payouts in police misconduct lawsuits through improved training.
King served the Montgomery County Police Department for more than 25 years, and played a key role in the investigation of the DC sniper. “We had to protect not only the community we served, but our community, our kids going to school. It was a tough one to deal with, personally,” he told students in 2003, according to the Poughkeepsie Journal.
In 2007, he became chief of police for the Gaithersburg Police Department, but stepped down in January 2010. Reports at the time said he was pursuing private sector opportunities.
According to reports, King was investigated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2008 for abuse of the county’s disability retirement system. The Washington Examiner reported that after King retired, he continued to receive “hefty” disability payments for severe back problems stemming from an injury he suffered 20 years ago.
“The people that are close by me know the pain I have,” King told the Examiner.
King was cleared, with charges never brought in the case.
It’s rare for city police to hire an outsider to a command position. An earlier nationwide search for a homicide commander resulted in police hiring from within.
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said King has experience as a police training executive, and has participated in training with the Drug Enforcement Agency, FBI, FEMA, US Department of State. He has a bachelor’s degree from Marist College and a master’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Baltimore.
King was not made available for comment.
Copyright © 2011, The Baltimore Sun
… Reshuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic once again. …