Active Employee Open Enrollment for Health Care

Open Enrollment for health benefits will continue until Friday, November 14. This is your opportunity to select and change your benefits for the 2015 calendar year.

Guides and rate sheets are available at the following link.

http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/benefits/

Informational meetings will be held throughout the Open Enrollment period, see below for dates and locations.

Wednesday, October 22 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. CCBC Dundalk Campus
Thursday, October 23 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oregon Ridge
Thursday, October 30 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Public Safety Building, Third Floor
Thursday, November 6 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Historic Court House, First Floor

 

Review and change your benefits elections online at www.baltimorecountymd.gov/mybenefits.

Fallen Hero Anniversary: John W. Stem, Sr.

The Lodge pauses on Sunday to honor the memory of Bro. John W. Stem, Sr., on the Anniversary of his line-of-duty death, October 19, 2000.

Officer John Stem was shot on July 6, 1977 in the Precinct1/Wilkens area while police were attempting to talk an armed, drug abusing man who was barricaded in his family’s home into surrendering. Officer Stem died on October 19, 2000 of complications of paraplegia caused by his line of duty wounds. Officer Charles Huckeba was also fatally wounded during the same incident.

A wreath has been placed at the BCoPD Memorial in his memory. May he rest in peace.

 

 

Law Enforcement Appreciation Night

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The Washington Capitals are excited to partner with the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund by honoring the men and women who serve the Washington Capital Region as first responders.

The Capitals are pleased to make available to all sworn and non-sworn personnel of all city, county, state and federal public safety agencies a specially priced ticket offer as the Caps take on the San Jose Sharks.  We would also like to extend this offer to the families, friends, neighbors and colleagues to come out and honor our first responders.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014
7:00 PM
Verizon Center, Washington DC
Purchase tickets HERE using promo code CAPITALS

Everyone who purchases a ticket through this special offer will receive a Washington Capitals T-shirt and a limited edition co-branded Washington Capitals – National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund Challenge Coin.

The Capitals will donate $5.00 from each ticket sold to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund in honor of the Washington Capital Region first responders.

Download the flyer for this event.

Rawlings-Blake says changes needed to Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights

By Luke Broadwater and Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun8:55 p.m. EDT, September 17, 2014

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake criticized the Police Department’s handling of a high-profile police brutality investigation on Wednesday, and said she had directed the police commissioner to develop a “comprehensive” plan to address brutality in the agency.

Speaking to reporters at City Hall, the mayor said top commanders should have quickly seen a video of an officer repeatedly punching a man, and should have moved immediately to take the officer off the street.

“It is outrageous,” Rawlings-Blake said of the conduct of the officer shown in the video, whom authorities have identified as Officer Vincent E. Cosom. “We have a situation where we know that video was held by the police, yet the people who needed to see it didn’t see it. That’s a problem.”

A police surveillance camera captured the incident on North Avenue the night it happened in June, and a department monitor flagged the footage, officials have said. Though prosecutors and detectives from internal affairs were aware of it, officials said, Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts said he didn’t see it until Monday — the day it was made public as part of a $5 million lawsuit filed against Cosom. Cosom remained on the job until he was suspended with pay Tuesday.

“It’s clear there is a bottleneck somewhere” that kept top officials from seeing the tape sooner, Rawlings-Blake said. “Everything I saw was a concern to me. It wasn’t handled right [during] the incident. It wasn’t handled right afterward. Either we don’t have the right procedures or they weren’t enforced. Either way, we have to do better.”

She said she was prepared to lead a charge to weaken Maryland’s police “Bill of Rights,” which some critics say is too protective of officers.

The law mandates that disciplinary actions against police go through a three-person trial board that makes decisions based on the preponderance of the evidence. Before the board’s decision, the police commissioner may suspend an officer without pay only if he or she is charged with a felony.

The law gives officers 10 days to get an attorney before they can be questioned by superiors, and lets the attorney strike members of the trial board hearing the case. Additionally, the law states an officer may not be investigated on a brutality accusation unless it was made within 90 days of the incident.

Several Baltimore lawmakers said they planned to seek changes to the law, but supporters of the act warned against sweeping changes that could undermine an officer’s rights.

Gene Ryan, vice president of the city police union, said the law simply gives an officer “his day in court.”

“She’s been giving it a bad rap. It’s a due process law,” Ryan said of the mayor. “If the investigation proves this officer was wrong in what he did, he should be punished. Let’s give him his chance first.”

Del. John W. E. Cluster Jr., a Baltimore County Republican and former law enforcement officer, said diluting the bill of rights could lead to public officials firing officers for political reasons, not necessarily because the officer had done anything wrong. And Cluster said the bill of rights already allows for officers to be fired for even minor infractions if they reflect poorly on the Police Department.

He warned against changes that would give superiors “too broad of leeway to fire someone without giving them due process.”

The video footage from the North Avenue incident appears to show Cosom launching an unprovoked attack on a man named Kollin Truss at a bus stop. Cosom lands a series of blows on Truss.

Two other officers are seen in the video not intervening. Police identified those officers Wednesday evening as Officer Dominic Gerber, a five-year veteran with the department, and Officer Christopher Dunlap, a two-year veteran.

Batts has said he was shocked and outraged by the video. City prosecutors have said there is a criminal investigation into the matter, while police said they planned to present a case to a grand jury.

Cosom will continue to collect his paycheck while on leave. His base salary is $61,000; with overtime, he earned $69,000 last year.

“I thought it was very important that he be off the streets,” Rawlings-Blake said. “I’ve looked at [the video] several times. I’ve tried to figure out under what circumstances that was the right thing to do. I can’t figure it out. I don’t want to see this type of thing happen again.”

Del. Curtis S. Anderson, who chairs the city’s House delegation in Annapolis, said Baltimore’s lawmakers were eager to partner with the mayor on the effort to change the law. Anderson said some want to see the city’s Civilian Review Board granted more powers.

“Several of us have already been talking about taking a look at it,” he said. “The civilian review board doesn’t really have any teeth. It doesn’t require the mayor or the police commissioner to act in any specific way. They don’t have the ability to redress grievances. If people feel powerless that’s not a good thing for us.”

Del. Jill P. Carter has unsuccessfully submitted several bills in recent years to change the law, including one that would have forced police to post all disciplined officers’ names online along with their infractions. Another would eliminate the 10-day wait before an officer can be interrogated. Carter did win passage of a bill called “Christopher’s Law” — named after Baltimore County teen Christopher Brown, who was killed by an officer — that requires additional training of police.

“Yes, we need to reform the police officer’s Bill of Rights, not just because of this video but because of many incidents,” Carter said. “Maryland gives more rights to law enforcement officers than any state in the country.”

The mayor acknowledged that getting legislation passed could be difficult. “Whether or not I will be able to single-handedly get them passed in the legislature, I have no idea. But I’m willing to fight.”

News of the incident involving Cosom comes after Rawlings-Blake held a series of meetings with community members, in which many voiced concerns about police brutality.

“It’s very clear we need a comprehensive set of reforms to deal with the issue of police brutality and that’s what I have asked for from the police department,” she said. “We have some really, really good officers on the street. When something like this happens, it casts a cloud over all of those officers.”

Democrat Del. Steven J. DeBoy, a former Baltimore County officer, said he was moved watching the footage of the incident. “On paper, and on video, it looks terrible,” he said. “But let internal affairs do their job.”

He said the reasons for passing the police “Bill of Rights” 40 years ago apply today. “It’s very easy to make allegations in this occupation, because you’re always dealing with situations that go from zero to 10 in a matter of seconds.”

But DeBoy also said that the investigating eyewitness accounts decades ago was a much more time-consuming process than today, when video cameras are everywhere. In light of widespread videotaping, he said he would cautiously consider revamping pieces of the law. “With technology changing, maybe that’s something you take a look at,” DeBoy said.

Nina Smith, a spokeswoman for Gov. Martin O’Malley, said he hoped the General Assembly would take a balanced approach if members consider changes to the law.

“It’s important to strike the right balance between punishing wrongdoers and ensuring there’s a fair process for everyone,” Smith said. “It’ll be up to the next General Assembly to evaluate whether that balance needs to be re-calibrated.”

lbroadwater@baltsun.com

twitter.com/lukebroadwater

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun

Health Care Open Enrollment Information

Open enrollment for Baltimore county employee health care will be available  from October 14 -  November 14, 2014.  there have been some coverage changes and copay changes.  Please click on the link below for more information.

Open Enrollment

The county has made a couple changes to the dates and time to the Open Enrollment meetings listed on the above link.

Thursday November 6, 2014 will now be at the Historic Court house.  The times are the same

Thursday November 13, 2014 has been CANCELLED.

Concerns of Police Survivors COPS Ride

The Maryland Chapter for the

Concerns of Police Survivors

COPS RIDE

To All Sworn and Civilian Police Employees:

The Concerns of Police Survivors or COPS Ride Committee is requesting your help.  For the past 15 years, retired officers from the Prince George’s County Police Department, current PGPD members and members from other local agencies have organized and staffed the Maryland COPS Ride.  Since the first COPS Ride began in 2000, we have lost 58 officers in the line of duty in Maryland.  To date, The COPS Ride has raised approximately $1.4 million towards the support of the survivors of our officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Over these 15 years, numerous members of the original COPS Ride Committee have retired from the group.  We are looking to recruit new Committee members to assist with organizing the COPS Ride and participate the day of the event.  COPS Ride meetings are held monthly, most are held at FOP #89 at 1800hrs.  We are looking for new members who will be committed to helping us continue to support Maryland COPS.  There are many areas of the Ride that we need help in.  Your assistance, your talents and your passion can help us continue to support the MD COPS Organization and most importantly the families of fallen officers.

If you are willing to assist the Maryland Chapter of COPS and the COPS Ride, please plan to attend our first meeting for the 2015 COPS Ride on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 1800 hours in the board room of FOP Lodge #89. Any jurisdiction in the State of Maryland is more than welcome, as this is a State wide event.  Our meetings are informal, but our passion for the event is not.

Visit www.mdcops.org for more information on the MD COPS organization.

The Maryland Chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors is a statewide, non-profit organization which provides programs and services for the survivors of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in the State of Maryland.  MD COPS has many programs and services which include National Police Survivors Seminars held each May during National Police Week, scholarships, peer support, counseling programs, trial and parole support, death benefit information and other assistance programs.  The COPS Ride is the largest contributor to Maryland COPS and the survivors.

On behalf of MD COPS,

Thank you.

Paula D. Speiden

Co-Chair, COPS Ride #16

 

Ride to Conquer Cancer on Behalf of Ola Santoni

I will be participating in the 150 mile “Ride to Conquer Cancer” bike event, Sept. 13th -14th.  I have chosen to ride on behalf of Ola Moyer-Santoni, one of my very best friends from Precinct 11.  Ola was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year and is currently undergoing radiation treatment in Las Vegas, Nevada.  My prayers are with her, her family and all those that suffer from this devastating disease.

In order to participate in this epic event, I need to raise at least $2,500.  Please click on the link below (my personal webpage) and consider making a donation TODAY to support me in my efforts.

TOGETHER we CAN conquer CANCER!

Thank you in advance for your generosity; let’s chat together soon!

Sincerely,

Jeffrey A. Silk

Click here to visit my personal page.

Fallen Hero Anniversary Date: Officer Jason Schneider

This is a reminder of the Anniversary date of the line of duty death of Officer Jason Schneider, on August 28, 2013.

Officer Schneider was fatally wounded On August 28, 2013 while serving a high risk search warrant with his tactical unit in Precinct 1/Wilkens, for a suspect wanted in a shooting.  While making entry he was fatally wounded by one of the suspects.  Before succumbing to his wounds he, along with another team member, returned fire killing the suspect.

Under departmental regulations, memorial ribbon bars will be worn on the uniform, above all other ribbons above the badge, or mourning bands will be worn on the badge on the anniversary dates of Baltimore County Police Officers killed in the line of duty.

Fallen Hero Anniversary Date: Corporal Samuel Snyder

This is a reminder of the anniversary date of the line-of-duty-death of Samuel Snyder on Saturday, August 23, 2014.

In August of 1983, Corporal Samuel Snyder, a thirty-year veteran of the department, was shot by a deranged subject while responding to a call for assistance from fellow officers in Towson. Corporal Snyder died on August 23, 1983 as a result of his wounds.

Under Departmental regulations Memorial Ribbon Bars may be worn on the uniform, above all other ribbons above the badge, on the anniversary dates of Baltimore County police officers killed-in-the-line-of-duty.

Members are encouraged to honor and remember Samuel Snyder by wearing their Memorial Ribbon Bars on August 23rd of each year.

 

Deferred Compensation Plan One-Time Bonus Deferral

Baltimore County FOP Lodge #4 has been working with representatives from Nationwide for members to defer a percentage of the one-time bonus that county employees will receive in November 2014.  As a result, a plan was developed to allow members to defer a portion of their bonus and avoid the heavy tax that is levied on bonuses.  Now, any bonus amount deposited into your account will not be taxed until you withdraw it.  Then, any withdraws will be taxed as ordinary income.

If you have not received a communication from Nationwide and wish to participate, please use the attachment or contact a Nationwide representative.  All forms must be returned by September 26.

Plan deferral information