High Capacity Magazine Restrictions in New Jersey (Updated 12/19/19)*

The state of New Jersey recently enacted a law which prohibits high capacity magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds.  The law does not exclude active and retired law enforcement officers residing outside of New Jersey who are traveling to or through the state.  A copy of the law may be found at: https://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2018/Bills/PL18/39_.PDF  

The New Jersey State Police has provided the following guidance in reference to the law changes:

Active duty law enforcement traveling to New Jersey for work related reasons are authorized to carry their duty weapon, ammunition, and magazines, per the departmental guidelines for their department.

Active duty law enforcement traveling to New Jersey for non-work related reasons and carrying under Federal Law HR218 must carry 10 round magazines in their firearm while in the state of New Jersey.  

Active duty law enforcement traveling through New Jersey for non-work related reasons and carrying under Federal Law HR218 may place magazines exceeding 10 rounds in a locked case in the trunk of their vehicle for transport through the state of New Jersey.

Retired law enforcement traveling to New Jersey and carrying under Federal Law HR218 must carry 10 round magazines in their firearm while in the state of New Jersey.  Additionally, they must carry ball ammunition and are prohibited from carrying hollow point ammunition.

Members must be aware of and abide by these provisions to avoid potential legal implications while traveling to or though New Jersey.

Please note, there are currently several bills being put forward to address round capacity and law enforcement exceptions.  Updated information will be provided to members, should the above information change.

On December 19, 2018, New Jersey Governor Philip D. Murphy  signed a bill which revises the state’s new 10-round magazine limit as it applies to active duty law enforcement.

The revised bill introduces the following provisions for active duty law enforcement:

While off-duty, active duty law enforcement traveling to or through New Jersey may carry high capacity magazines capable of holding not more than 17 rounds.  If the high capacity magazine is used with a service firearm issued to the officer by the officer’s employer for use in the officer’s official duties, the magazine may hold more than 17 rounds.

Please note that the revised bill does not contain changes related to retired law enforcement.  Retired law enforcement traveling to New Jersey and carrying under Federal Law HR218 must carry 10 round magazines and are prohibited from carrying hollow point ammunition.

Congratulation to 38 New Baltimore County Officers and FOP #4 Members!

Thirty-eight members of the 149th Recruit Class took the oath of office at 7:30 p.m. on December 19, 2018 The event took place at Notre Dame Preparatory School, 815 Hampton Lane, Towson 21286.

Baltimore County Executive John Olszewski, Jr. and Baltimore County Police Chief Terrence B. Sheridan joined family and friends as well as County dignitaries at the event. Chief Sheridan, presented the diplomas. The Honorable Julie Ensor, Clerk of the Court administered the oath of office. Rabbi Norman Lowenthal, Departmental Chaplain, offered the invocation and benediction.

The recruits trained for 27 weeks and will spend the next two years in the field as they now apply the skills learned in the classroom.

The following is a list of the recruits and their assignments.

Precinct 1/Wilkens

Officer Robert S. Agudelo
Officer Ian A. Arciaga
Officer Donald L. Cargile III
Officer Adam M. Ciepiela
Officer Jamal M. Joyner
Officer Nicole J. Madden
Officer Sean P. Paulsen
Officer Lucas T. Redman

Precinct 2/Woodlawn

Officer Jordan W. Babischkin
Officer Justin A. Griffin
Officer Michael E. Leatherman
Officer Josie A. Rein
Officer Courtney E. Torbeck

Precinct 3/Franklin

Officer Roxy C. Burkins

Precinct 4/Pikesville

Officer Janelle V. Daniel
Officer Christian A. Maisel
Officer Brian T. Schmidt

Precinct 6/Towson

Officer Scott D. Doetsch
Officer Cody J. Klapka
Officer Nicholas R. Mabry
Officer Brian P. Petrozzino
Officer Levi N. Rentzel
Officer Brandon R. Zick

Precinct 9/White Marsh

Officer Andrew M. Dove
Officer Michael S. Mackert
Officer Joshua E. Oburn

Precinct 11/Essex

Officer Nicholas E. Greco
Officer Garrett M. Karr
Officer Allison M. Kraus
Officer Timothy M. Milich
Officer Emmanuel Nazario
Officer Tyler R. Nicholson
Officer Searra A. Reynolds
Officer Derek J. Sennett

Precinct 12/Dundalk

Officer Jon T. Honeycutt
Officer Daniel J. Purdie
Officer Ryan H. Wills
Officer Angela M. Zavala


FOP Lodge #4 Election Results for Executive Board of Directors

On Monday November 26, 2018 the election committee of FOP Lodge #4 met  to have the ballots counted for the election of five (5) members of the Executive Board of Directors. The results are as follows:

Ken Schubert
Chris Hodnicki
Ryan Franks
Robert Graff
Justin Warnick
Pat Zito
Sekou Hinton

The top five (5) are elected to serve a two (2) year term. Congratulations!!
Thank you to all who participated in the election and wanting to serve all Lodge #4 members. Also thank you to all those who voted. As you can see, every vote does count.

Finally, the Lodge would like to thank Bro. Pat Zito for his long time service as a member of the Executive Board.

4th Circuit rules that Baltimore Co. owes employees back pay for higher pension rates

Baltimore County owes more than a decade of back pay to older employees who contributed to the county pension plan at a higher rate, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.

The county has been in litigation with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for years over the higher contribution rates for employees 40 and older. The EEOC first issued notices of charges of age discrimination in 1999 and 2000 but did not pursue the case until 2006, when it issued a letter determining discrimination occurred and filed suit the following year.

A U.S. District Judge granted partial summary judgment on liability in 2012, which the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed in 2014.

The parties and unions involved approved a plan for gradual equalization of contribution rates in 2016, but the EEOC pursued retroactive and prospective damages for the unequal rates paid until they were equalized. A federal judge denied that request in 2016, and the EEOC appealed.

The 4th Circuit held in a published per curium opinion Wednesday that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act requires mandatory back pay upon a finding of liability because the law incorporates the remedy provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

“Because Congress adopted the enforcement procedures and remedies of the FLSA into the ADEA, we construe the ADEA consistent with the cited statutory language in and judicial interpretations of the FLSA,” the three-judge panel concluded. “Back pay is, and was at the time Congress passed the ADEA, a mandatory legal remedy under the FLSA.”

A spokesperson for the EEOC declined to comment Wednesday.

The county began a three-year plan to phase in an age-neutral contribution rate on July 1, 2016, pursuant to the consent decree.

An attorney for the county estimated the requested back pay would cost the county $19 million in 2016 court filings, but the EEOC told the appeals court it would not pursue an award for the years between the initial notice of charges in 1999 and 2000 and the letter of determination in 2006, acknowledging the delay was unreasonable.

The appellate panel determined the delay did not change their conclusion interpreting the statute but the EEOC’s decision not to seek monetary relief for excessive deductions before 2006 meant the court did not need to reach the issue of laches, which was raised by the county.

A spokeswoman for Baltimore County said County Executive Don Mohler has asked the county attorney to review the decision and determine the next steps. No updated liability estimate was available.

The case has been remanded to U.S. District Court for a determination of the amount of back pay owed.

The case is Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Baltimore County et al., No. 16-2216.


Towson University Officer Amy Caprio Scholarship

Towson University, along with their non-profit Towson University Foundation, has been gracious enough to initiate a memorial scholarship in Officer Amy Caprio’s name.  The scholarship will be available to Towson University students who are first responders or have first responders in their immediate family.  For those of you who do not know, Amy met her husband, Tim, at Towson University and they both graduated in May 2010 with degrees in Exercise Science.

As this is a new scholarship, the TU Foundation is seeking donations to jump start the memorial scholarship.  I am proud to also announce that the Blue Valor Foundation has graciously volunteered their hard work and dedication to assist with this goal.

Link to scholarship: https://towsonuniversity.givingfuel.com/amy-sorrells-caprio-scholarship-endowment

Please feel free to pass this along to anyone who may be interested in donating.  There are many different options (i.e. monthly payments, bulk donation, etc.) on the website to choose from.

Also keep in mind, both the Blue Valor Foundation and the TU Foundation are both non-profit 501(c)3 corporations and all donations are tax-deductible.

As always, I cannot thank everyone enough for the support that the Sorrells/Caprio family have felt from their “blue family”.  Please continue to support each other and stay safe out there.

Grand Jury Decides Not to Charge in Officer Involved Shooting

After deliberating for less than 3 minutes, the Grand Jury decided against any charges for Ofc. McCain for a shooting on 7/3/18 in Rosedale.

News article

The Baltimore County police officer who shot a shoplifting suspect July 3 in Rosedale will not be charged, according to the state’s attorney for Baltimore County.

A Baltimore County grand jury declined to charge Officer First Class McCain after hearing the facts of the case and viewing body camera footage from the incident on Wednesday, according to a news release from Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger’s office.

McCain, a 17-year veteran of the Baltimore County Police Department, shot Micah Tucker, 38, who was sitting in the passenger seat of what police said was a stolen SUV driven by 32-year-old Robyn Slack, of Cedmont.

It is at least the second time McCain has shot a shoplifting suspect. He fatally shot a man who was allegedly attempting to steal detergent from a Giant Food in Catonsville in 2017, and was also involved in a nonfatal shooting in 2006.

He was suspended with pay at the time of the incident, police said. It was unclear if he had returned to work as of July 18.

“As with any police-involved shooting, the police department will conduct an administrative review of all of the officers’ actions who were involved in this incident,” Cpl. Shawn Vinson, a spokesman for the police department, said

Tucker, a Belair-Edison resident, according to court records, was suspected of shoplifting from a Walgreens in Parkville early July 3. His shooting followed a 15-minute police chase as officers followed the SUV from Harford and Joppa roads to the 7400 block of Pulaski Highway. During the pursuit, another police vehicle attempted to block the car, footage from McCain’s body camera showed. The SUV turned and crashed into McCain’s police cruiser.

Later, McCain could be heard shouting at Slack and Tucker, “Stop the car! Stop the car!” before firing his gun at the car 11 times. It was unclear from the footage whether Slack headed toward McCain, as police said, or whether she was attempting to flee the scene.

McCain was not hurt in the July 3 incident.

Shellenberger declined to say whether his office sought charges against McCain.

“We decided to let the grand jury make the decision. So they heard the facts and we were leaving it up to them,” he said. “We thought it would be important for the public to know that an independent group of Baltimore County citizens made the decision.”

Members of the media were allowed to watch the footage taken by McCain’s body camera during the incident earlier this month. Although no charges were filed against McCain, Shellenberger said his office will not release McCain’s body camera footage to the public because cases are still open against Tucker and Slack, and it could prejudice juries.

Tucker was charged with two counts of theft less than $100, and Slack was charged with second-degree assault and two counts of theft less than $100, court records show. Tucker was released, and Slack is being held without bail at the Baltimore County Detention Center.

Attorneys for Tucker and Slack were not listed in court documents.

Baltimore Sun reporter Colin Campbell contributed to this article.



FOP Lodge #4 Wins the Petition to Confirm and Enforce the Arbitration Award in Section 6.1c Grievance

The FOP’s Petition to Confirm and Enforce the arbitration award in Baltimore County Circuit Court for the Section 6.1c grievance was heard on May 2, 2018 by  Judge Souder.

On May 3, 2018 she issued an order confirming the arbitration award.

The County has 30 days to appeal to the Court of Special Appeals.

Judge Souder’s Court Order

Baltimore County FOP Lodge #4’s Final Proposal Adopted by Arbitrator

On March 16, 2018 the Baltimore County Administration and FOP Lodge #4 participated in an interest arbitration hearing for the July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019 Memorandum of Understanding. On March 31, 2018 Arbitrator Jaffe issued an award in favor of the last, best and final offer of the FOP. Those items are listed below.


Section 6.1 Wages
(A) Effective January 1, 2019, the pay schedule IV salary scale shall be increased by three (3%) percent.

(B) Steps and longevities shall be guaranteed for fiscal year 2019.

(C) For fiscal year 2019 if any other bargaining unit represented by a union receives a mutually agreed upon wage increase or any other form of compensation/fringe benefit, including but not limited to premium pay, allowances, special duty pay, reclassifications, pension and insurance, members of the bargaining unit shall receive the same amount of increase on the same effective If such other bargaining units receive different increases in wages or other forms of compensation/fringe benefits, the members of the Fraternal Order of Police bargaining unit shall receive the amount of increase which is the highest for each category of wages and compensation/fringe benefit, provided on the earliest effective date agreed by the County for each such improvement.

Section 6.8: Shift Differential
(A) All employees who are scheduled to work shifts 3 & 4 shall receive a shift differential of 3.15% of the hourly rate of a maximum police officer first class for those hours actually worked during said shift. Effective January 1, 2019, all employees who are scheduled to work shifts 3 & 4 shall receive a shift differential of 3.5% of the hourly rate of a maximum police officer first class for those hours actually worked during said shift.

(B) All employees who are scheduled to work shift 1 shall receive a shift differential of 4.0 of the hourly rate of a maximum police officer first class for those hours actually worked during said shift. Effective January 1, 2019, all employees who are scheduled to work shift 1 shall receive a shift differential of 4.5% of the hourly rate of a maximum police officer first class for those hours actually worked during said shift.

(C) Overtime shall be based on the hourly rate for the shift worked previously to the overtime.

Section 6.11:  Holiday Pay
Employees working on the following holidays receive one and one-half times their regular rate: New Year’s, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Labor Day, Memorial Day, Martin Luther King’s Birthday, July 4th, Veteran’s Day, President’s Day and Columbus Day. Payment shall be on the basis of the majority of the shift hours falling within the holiday hours.

(B) Employees who are directed by management not to report to work on Martin Luther King’s Birthday, Veteran’s Day, President’s Day and Columbus Day shall be granted leave for that day, without a change to their leave schedules.

(C) Employees who were scheduled not to report to work, as directed in paragraph (B) of this section and called in to work under Section 6.4 will still be granted leave (marked “P”) that entire day without a change to their leave balances. Additionally, those members shall be paid at time and one half their hourly-rates for a minimum of four (4) hours or the actual number of hours worked, whichever is greater.  

Section 6.12 Field Training Officers Effective July 1, 2009, the differential shall be two dollars and fifty cents per hour. Effective January 1, 2019, the shift differential shall be five dollars per ($5.00) hour.

Section 10.7: Pension Modifications
(f) Effective January 1, 2019 all pay schedule IV employees hired prior to July 1, 2014 will contribute 9.50% of their salary toward their pension.

Section 17.1: Furloughs and Layoffs– Bargaining unit members shall not be furloughed or laid off (i.e., “riffed”) in fiscal year 2019


Section 18.3: Duration
This Memorandum of Understanding shall become effective July 1, 2018 and shall continue in full force and effect until June 30, 2019. This Memorandum of Understanding shall be automatically renewed from year to year after June 30, 2019 unless:

(A) Either party shall notify the other in writing no later than October 15, 2018 (or October 15thof any subsequent year thereafter in case of an automatic renewal) that it desires to terminate, modify or amend this Memorandum of Understanding, or

(B) The County Council fails to approve the necessary appropriations to support the fiscal obligations of the County under this Memorandum of Understanding for any year covered by this Memorandum of


A Snapshot of Policing in Baltimore County 2014-2018

Law enforcement officers across the country have faced intense public scrutiny about officer conduct and the use of force by officers on the citizens they serve.  National and local events have gained widespread attention on both traditional and social media creating a perception that police misconduct is a common occurrence and is often ignored or denied by those in the law enforcement profession.  Over the past five years, the Baltimore County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #4 has gathered information from statistics readily available to the public that dispel that perception yet garner little or no attention. As you can see from the statistics below, the members of the Baltimore County Police Department are professional and provide a great service to the citizens of Baltimore County.


Year County Population Calls for Service Assaults on Officers Arrests Uses of Force Citizen Complaints
2014 824,000 572,289   659 26,989   305   89
2015 824,000 582,894   660 25,651   300   85
2016 826,000 606,851   609 24,534   252   71
2017 831,000 709,627   581 23,584   208   52
2018 831,000 668,820 627 21,564 242 43
3,140,481 3,136 122,322 1,307 340


County Population
The county population has steadily grown since 2013. Demographics available on the county website showed that in 2010 the population was 64% white, 26% African American, 4% Hispanic, 6% other.

Calls for Service
The number of calls for service shown includes all calls to 911, non-emergency calls and traffic stops. This does not take into account the numerous undocumented interactions with citizens that officers have every day.

Calls for service for 2014 – 2018 was 3,140,481. The 5-year time period shows a steady increase. The average number of calls for service was 628,096.

In Baltimore County between 2014 and 2018 there were a total of 122,322 arrests made.  That equates to an average of 24,464 arrests per year in a county where the population has grown to 831,000.  The number of arrests has consistently trended downward since 2014 (20%) while the population has steadily grown. In 2014 Baltimore County officers arrested someone on every 21.2 calls for service. In 2018 officers arrested someone on every 31.0 calls for service.

Uses of Force by Officers
In the Baltimore County Police Department, a “use of force” report must be completed when an officer uses any execution of a physical act to control a person, overcome resistance, and/or defend oneself or another.  The force may entail the use of body parts, issued departmental equipment, or an instrument of necessity.

In the five years indicated above, Baltimore County officers used force (excluding firearms) a total of 1,307 times.  From 2014-2018 there has been a 20.6% decrease in uses of force by officers.  Additionally, the statistics show that force was only used in 1 out of 2,206 calls for service or  00.0416% of all calls for service and 1.068% in all arrests.

Internal Affairs statistics show that officers were involved in combat shootings 27 times during the same time period averaging about 5.26 per year.  This equates to the use of a firearm in 00.00082% of all calls for service and in 00.021% of all arrests.

Assaults on Officers
During the 5-year time period officers reported being assaulted 3,136 times averaging 627.2 assaults per year. (There has been 1 line of duty death) While assaults on officers have remained steady, the numbers show that officers in Baltimore County are 2.39 times more likely to be assaulted by a citizen than use force against a citizen. (Note: Use of force by officers is down 20% during the same time period)

Citizen Complaints
According to the Internal Affairs Section in the Baltimore County Police Department there were 340 complaints from citizens about officer misconduct, including uses of force.  That equates to an average of 68 per year and has also been steadily trending downward (51%). Over the entire time period there was an average of 1 citizen complaint for every 9,236 calls for service. The best year was 2018 with 1 citizen complaint for every 15,553 calls for service.

Administrative Complaints
An Administrative complaint is defined as a complaint filed by members internally within the police department.  According to the Internal Affairs Section in the Baltimore County Police Department there were 433 complaints initiated from within the department from 2014-2018.  That equates to an average of 86 per year and 56% of all Internal Affairs investigations. There were actually 93 more complaints generated from within the police department than from citizens

There is a very select group of citizens in a part of Maryland that has a mistrust of their police department and that is unfortunate.  That is certainly not the case in Baltimore County.  We enjoy an excellent working relationship with the community we serve.


President Weston testifies against HB453 in front of House Judiciary Committee

Please look at the testimony by President Weston at the House Judiciary Committee on HB453 requiring officers working uniformed secondary employment to wear body cameras. The bill is cross filed with SB209.

The House bill is sponsored by Del. West and the Senate bill is being sponsored by Senator Brochin.

President Weston testifies at 31:31 into the video after Del. West and Baltimore County State’s Attorney Shellenberger who are at the beginning of the video.

The Maryland State FOP and Baltimore County FOP Lodge #4 are  opposing both of these bills for the reasons put forth by President Weston.



Pension Subtraction Modification for Retired Public Safety

In 2017 Governor Hogan signed the bill passed by the state legislature to provide for a $15,000.00 Pension Subtraction Modification for Retired Law Enforcement, Fire, Rescue or Emergency Services Personnel starting at age 55. Information can be located in the 2017 Maryland State and Local Tax Forms Instructions booklet published by the Comptroller of Maryland, specifically, instruction #13, Subtraction from Income, section rr, pages 9 and 10.

PENSION EXCLUSION FOR RETIRED LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OR FIRE, RESCUE, OR EMERGENCY SERVICES PERSONNEL. Note: An individual taxpayer may not claim BOTH the standard Pension Exclusion and the Pension Exclusion for Retired Law Enforcement Officer or Fire, Rescue, or Emergency Services Personnel. If you are 65 or older on the last day of the calendar year, you are totally disabled, or your spouse is totally disabled, and you have received qualified pension income, you should complete the Pension Exclusion Computation Worksheet (13A) regardless of your prior work history. It is permissible for one spouse to claim the standard Pension Exclusion and the other spouse to claim the Pension Exclusion for Retired Law Enforcement Officer or Fire, Rescue, or Emergency Services Personnel if each spouse meets the applicable required criteria. If you meet the below criteria, use the Pension Exclusion Worksheet (13E) to calculate your eligible pension exclusion:

  1. You were 55 or over on the last day of the tax year, AND b. You were not 65 or older, or totally disabled, or have a spouse who is totally disabled, AND c. You included on your federal return taxable income received as a pension, annuity or endowment from an “employee retirement system” qualified under Section 401(a), 403 or 457(b) of the Internal Revenue Code, AND d. The retirement income is attributable to your service as a law enforcement officer or fire, rescue, or emergency services personnel of the United States, the State of Maryland, or a political subdivision of Maryland. Each spouse who meets the above requirements may be entitled to the exclusion. If each spouse is eligible, complete a separate column on the RETIRED LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OR FIRE, RESCUE, OR EMERGENCY SERVICES PERSONNEL PENSION EXCLUSION COMPUTATION WORKSHEET (13E). Combine your allowable exclusions from line 8 of the worksheet and enter the total amount on line rr, Form 502SU.

Each member is encouraged to consult with their individual tax preparer to determine how these provisions apply.

2017 FOP Lodge #4 Election Results

The following is the results of the 2017 FOP Lodge #4 election. A total of 1292 ballots were returned. Five (5) ballots were invalid for too many selections (more than 5 board members selected) for a total of 1287.
The term for President and the Executive Board of Directors begins in December 2017 and expires in December 2019.

Congratulation to the winners and all those who participated and voted this year.

Cole Weston – 959
Doug Jess – 301

1st VP – Steven Comegna – (unopposed)
2nd VP – David Rose – (unopposed)
Treasurer – Bob Caskey – (unopposed)
Secretary- Donna Patterson – (unopposed)
State Trustee – Don Patterson – (unopposed)
Chaplain – Tony DiCara – (unopposed)
Sergeant at Arms – Ryan Massey – (unopposed)

Executive Board of Directors:
Mike DiCara – 950
Kathy Kraemer – 908
Tom Scally – 878
Dave Sweren – 874
Jim Rommel – 870
Justin Warnick – 573
Sekou Hinton – 361

Bold font denotes the winners

Class Grievance for Police Officer Part-Time Has Been Resolved

On October 5, the FOP filed a class grievance against Chief Sheridan and Baltimore County Office of Human Resources after they posted a job opening for the position of Police Officer Part-Time on the county website. The listing also contained a salary and job description. These items have to be negotiated with the FOP.  A request to bargain also was sent to Chief Sheridan.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Baltimore County Government and the Baltimore County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #4 (FOP), specifically article 1 section 1.2 “Employee Defined” states “Whenever used in this MOU, the term “employee” shall mean all sworn personnel up to and including the rank of Lieutenant of the Police Department.”

Furthermore, article 1 section 1.1 “Union Recognition” states “The Administration recognizes the FOP as the exclusive representative of its employees as defined in Section in Section 1.2 of this article with respect to wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment.”

Through the Police Officer Part Time position, the Department and the County are altering the negotiated terms and conditions of employment. It would also cause those hired in the position of part time police officer to be unrepresented should they be accused of any wrongdoing or sustain any liability.

On October 19, 2017, Chief Sheridan issued a correspondence denying the grievance and refusing to bargain.

Our appeal to step #3 was promptly filed with the Office of Administrative Hearings. That hearing was scheduled for November 1, 2017 at 1:30pm.

On October 30, 2017, Chief Sheridan issued a correspondence rescinding the position of “part-time police officer”. The posting has also been removed from the county website.

On October 31, 2017, President Weston responded in a correspondence to Chief Sheridan and the Office of Administrative Hearings that the FOP was withdrawing its request to bargain and the class grievance.