Baltimore County union says 911 staffing problems persist

Disagreements between Baltimore County 911 workers and administrators have come to a head, with union leaders planning a rally this week to focus attention on the Towson call center.

The Baltimore County Federation of Public Employees says high turnover and vacancies at the 911 center could put public safety at risk. The union says employees object to the county’s plan to switch to shifts that rotate between days and nights, beginning in January. County administrators contend they need the change to ensure that each shift is staffed with experienced employees.

John Ripley, head of the Baltimore County Federation of Public Employees, said about 25 workers have left the center in the past six months. He said they are leaving largely because they don’t want to switch to rotating shifts.

“Our calculation is it’s over 230 years of experience, and that’s something that’s not replaced easily,” Ripley said. “We just feel like it’s a formula for disaster.”

A rally organized by the union is planned for Monday at 5:30 p.m. before the regularly scheduled County Council meeting. The union contends that rotating shifts are unhealthy for workers and create family hardships.

County officials say that over the years, 911 employees have been allowed to change shifts when a vacancy occurs, leading to an imbalance in experience because more experienced workers take the most desirable shifts.

“These assignment changes were approved with such frequency, for the employees’ benefit, that the experience gap … became dramatic and had to be corrected,” county administrative officer Fred Homan wrote in an open letter to 911 center employees last week.

For example, Homan said, at one point last year, the average experience for the 911 call-taking evening shift was about three years, while the average experience on the fire dispatch day shift was about 21 years.

County spokeswoman Ellen Kobler emphasized the center receives on average only 10 complaints from the public per year out of 750,000 calls.

According to county administrators, the center has 172 employees and 15 vacancies. A new class of 23 people is about to start, Kobler said.

“After their six weeks of training and two months of mentoring, we plan to be over authorized strength,” Kobler said in an email to The Baltimore Sun.

Because of under-staffing at the 911 center, county officials moved seven police and fire employees to the facility this year. Five firefighters and two police officers are working at the 911 center, with plans to return them to their police and fire positions within three months, Kobler said.

Last month, Capt. Joseph Conger, the police department’s technology and communications commander, said his division had received complaints from officers who said dispatchers were “unequipped to handle” inquiries involving law enforcement databases.

“The 911 Center Administration has assured us that this should not be happening,” Conger wrote.

Kobler said the complaints were the result of “a one-time mistake by an individual dispatcher.”

“Management corrected that individual on the mistake,” she said.

FOP Lodge #4 Response to the County Executive’s Body Camera Announcement

Over the past year law enforcement agencies across the country have faced intense public scrutiny about officer conduct and the use of force by officers on the citizens they serve. Recent events both nationally and local have gained widespread attention on both traditional and social media. This has created this firestorm of rhetoric that police officers in America are out of control, running rampant throughout the community, with no regard for citizen rights and no mechanism to discipline officers for misconduct. That is certainly not the case in Baltimore County. We enjoy a good working relationship with the community we serve. While BWC’s may be an appropriate and much needed tool in some police agencies, there have been no significant incidents or systematic problems within the department resulting in a call from the community for Body Worn Cameras (BWC). There is no evidence that the cost of a BWC program in Baltimore County would be offset in savings from fewer lawsuits. Once in place, a body worn program will be difficult to terminate or scale back, leaving the county with a significant, permanent fiscal obligation and little financial payoff. Such cost would be passed on to the taxpayer.

It appears, given the statistics below that a BWC program in Baltimore County may be a solution for a problem that does not exist and given the significant cost and complexity of the program it would be a misuse of tax dollars to move forward on a BWC program at this time.

Year County Population Calls for Service Assaults on Officers Arrests Uses of Force Citizen Complaints
2009 789,814 623,520 839 34,447 391 156
2010 801,700 604,706 957 33,898 329 128
2011 805,029 576,017 955 29,959 354 109
2012 817,455 585,112 798 29,439 377 126
2013 817,455 580,416 692 27,982 318 124
2014 824,000 572,289 659 26,989 305 89
3,542,060 4,900 182,714 2,074 732

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 the time period shown have shown a steady decline of 8%. The average number of calls for service was 590,343. Every year since 2011 has been under the average.

In Baltimore County between 2009 and 2014 there were a total of 182,714 arrests made. That equates to an average of 30,452 arrests per year in a county where the population has grown to 824,000. Every year since 2011 has been under the average. The number of arrests has consistently trended downward since 2009 while the population has steadily grown.

Uses of Force by Officers
In the Baltimore County Police Department a “use of force” report must be completed when an officer uses force involving Department issued equipment, personal equipment, an instrument of necessity (excluding firearms) and/or when injuries (visible or non visible) have occurred to an individual that indicate medical treatment may be necessary.

In the six years indicated above Baltimore County officers used force (excluding firearms) a total of 2,074 times. From 2009-2014 there has been a 22% decrease in uses of force by officers. Additionally, the statistics show that force was only used in 00.0585534% of all calls for service and 01.1351073% in all arrests.

Internal Affairs stats show that officers were involved in combat shootings 34 times during the same time period averaging about 5.6 per year. This equates to the use of a firearm in 00.0009598% of all calls for service and in 00.0186083% of all arrests.

Assaults on Officers
During the 6 year time period officers reported being assaulted 4,900 times averaging 816.6 assaults per year. (There has been 1 line of duty death) While assaults on officers have been trending downward, the numbers showed that officers in Baltimore County are 2.3 times more likely to be assaulted by a citizen than use force against a citizen.

Citizen Complaints
According to the Internal Affairs Section in the Baltimore County Police Department there were 732 complaints from citizens about officer misconduct, including uses of force. That equates to an average of 122 per year and has also been steadily trending downward (42.9%). Over the entire time period there was an average of 1 citizen complaint for every 4,838 calls for service. The best year was 2014 with 1 citizen complaint for every 6,430 calls for service.

Retiree Health Care Case has been Scheduled in Court of Appeals

The Court of Appeals has scheduled oral arguments for the retiree health care subsidy case for Monday November 9, 2015 at 9am

Baltimore County, Maryland v. Baltimore County Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge No. 4

Issue – County Government – Whether public policy, as clearly delineated in the Baltimore County Charter, the Baltimore County Code, controlling Maryland case law, and the separation of powers doctrine, provides an exception to the enforcement of the arbitration award in this case?

Attorney for Petitioner: James J. Nolan, Jr.
Attorney for Respondent: John M. West

Statement of FOP President Chuck Canterbury on Recent Violence Targeting Law Enforcement Officers

This has been a brutal and tragic few weeks for our nation’s law enforcement officers. In just two weeks, five law enforcement officers were murdered and a sixth death of an off-duty officer is being investigated as a homicide. The level of violence aimed at law enforcement officers has escalated in every region of our county and it is being fanned by the seething hatred of a small, but vocal few who are adept at manipulating the media.

It is a difficult and dangerous time to be a police officer and not just because the increased violence is aimed at us. The vitriol, the hateful screeds and statements of those we are sworn to protect and defend, as well as public calls to kill and injure police officers, are horrifying. How can it be true that in America in 2015 we hear about the deliberate, vicious assassination of a Texas Deputy and, the very next day, the national news media repeatedly airs footage of demonstrators calling for violence against police — “pigs in a blanket, fry ‘em like bacon.”

It is not just talk; it is not just rhetoric. Those spewing this hatred and those calling for violence are having an impact. They have been given a platform by the media to convey the message that police officers are their enemy and it is time to attack that enemy from ambush, from hiding. Social media accounts are full of hatred and calls to target and kill police officers. There is a very real and very deliberate campaign to terrorize our nation’s law enforcement officers.

Our members and all law enforcement officers put on their uniform and go to work to protect their communities in a state of hypervigiliance. They are making split second decisions of life or death and now part of that decision-making process includes: “How will this look on television?” or “Will I lose my job or be charged with a crime?”

No officer should be in a position to decide between his job and his life. But brothers and sisters, I am afraid that too many of us are doing just that because of the volatile social climate.

When a member of our community is in trouble, they call the police and we go to help them. When police officers are in trouble, who can we call?

Our elected officials are quick to console the families of the fallen and praise us for the difficult and dangerous work that we do every day. Yet, too many are silent when the hate speech floods the media with calls for violence against police or demands that police stand down and give them “room to destroy.” The violence will not end until the rhetoric does, until law enforcement leaders and elected officials lose their fear of this tiny fraction of extremists and stand up to reject, completely and without qualification, the use of violence, terror and hate as an instrument of social change. That is not who we are as Americans.

The great Irish statesman, Edmund Burke, wrote “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Too many good men and women are doing nothing and saying nothing in defense of us, the defenders. As a result, we now have the crisis of this nationwide trend of violence against police officers.

The FOP will not be silent. We will not be afraid or be rendered paralyzed by political correctness. We will not do>
I have called on the Administration to acknowledge this crisis and asked them to work with us to address the violent surge against police. I have called on Congress to expand the Federal hate crimes law to protect police, to reauthorize the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Program and to fully fund the State and local law enforcement assistance programs that provide our men and women in the field with the resources and equipment they need to do their jobs and get home to their families at the end of their shift.

The FOP will not stop, will not quit and will not be intimidated. We will work to protect you and work to get those who should be speaking out to do so in our defense.

Our members should take heed of their own elected officials at every level of government and know who is defending us and speaking for us and who is defending our attackers, be it on the streets or in the halls of power. Enough is enough!

Be safe, my brothers and sisters. Be safe, be vigilant and may God bless you and your families.

Are more police getting killed? A look at officer deaths

By Michael Tarm
Associated Press

CHICAGO — The killing of a veteran police officer north of Chicago is the latest in a string of recent law enforcement deaths. Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz’ death on Tuesday triggered a manhunt for three suspects around the small Illinois community where the 52-year-old officer worked. A look at some of the latest slayings and data on other officer killings:

How Many Officers Have Died?
Gliniewicz was the eighth law enforcement officer shot and killed in the U.S. in the last month and the fourth in 10 days, according to the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, which tracks officers’ deaths so their names can be enshrined on a Washington, D.C., memorial. Steve Groeninger, a spokesman for the group, said four fatal shootings in recent days is a higher rate than usual.

Is That An Incease?
No. Shooting deaths of officers are actually down 13 percent compared with the same January-to-September period in 2014. There were 30 shootings last year and 26 this year. Those figures include state and local officers, as well as federal agents. The figures also include two accidental shootings, Groeninger said. Suicides are not included.

Deaths have declined through the decades. The average number of officer shooting deaths for the first six months of each year — which is how the memorial fund gauges trends — was 62 through the 1970s.

The worst half-year period over the past five decades was in 1973, when 84 officers were shot and killed in the first six months alone. Through the early 2000s, the six-month average fell to 29.

More than 20,500 names are inscribed in marble on the memorial in Washington. They include officers killed in attacks and in accidents from 1791 through 2015.

Where Were The Other Recent Killings?
Darren Goforth was shot and killed Aug. 28 in suburban Houston as the Harris County deputy stopped to put gas in his patrol car. Henry Nelson, an officer in Sunset, Louisiana, was shot and killed Aug. 26 while responding to a domestic-violence call. Louisiana State trooper Steven J. Vincent died Aug. 14 after being shot in the head while assisting a motorist.

Do The Numbers Indicate Anything?
Groeninger cautioned that it was too soon to say if officer deaths are trending up. “The data doesn’t say that yet,” he said. He also said there is no clearly identifiable pattern in the killings and no conclusions to draw for now, other than “there are people out there who intend to harm police officers for whatever reason.”

How Many Officers Have Been Specifically Targeted?
During the last 12 months, six officers appear to have been targeted specifically because they worked in law enforcement, according to the memorial fund. That includes the Texas deputy, as well as two New York City officers who were shot and killed in December as they sat in their patrol car.

Elsewhere, an officer for the Housing Authority of New Orleans was fatally shot in his patrol car on May 24. In California, a San Jose Police Department officer was killed March 24 responding to a call that a man was threatening to kill himself. A Pennsylvania State Police officer was shot and killed on Sept. 14, 2014, outside a police barracks by someone wielding a rifle.

What Agencies Did The Slain Officers Work For?
City police account for the largest number of officers killed in shootings. Out of the 26 officers killed nationwide so far this year, 17 were on city forces, four were with the county and three with the state. One federal agent and one tribal officer were also killed, according to the memorial fund.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press

After Baltimore riots, changes to police ‘bill of rights’ sought

August 24, 2015
As the national debate continues over police shootings and the use of excessive force, a Maryland legislative panel Monday weighed whether changes should be made to the protections afforded to officers accused of misconduct.

Police officers, advocates of police restructuring, sheriffs and police chiefs offered testimony on the merits of reducing a provision that gives officers 10 days to receive representation before cooperating with an investigation, opening trial boards to the public, and increasing from 90 days to a year and one day the length of time that someone may file a brutality complaint against an officer.

Officials from the state NAACP and the ACLU of Maryland said they hope the panel will consider recommending that the General Assembly do away with the “10-day rule” and increase the time for filing a complaint — actions they say are necessary to repair the fractured relationship between police and communities. In this Aug. 9, 2015 photo provided by Noah Scialom, a member of the Baltimore Police Department points a gun during a confrontation with dirt bikers, bicyclists and onlookers in Baltimore. Police in riot gear cleared the crowd from a street near Druid Hill Park after they said some had thrown objects at officers. (Noah Scialom/AP)

An effort to make changes to Maryland’s Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights (LEOBR) earlier this year died in committee.“We think without radical reform, communities across the state will not have the confidence in their police force that everyone should have,” said Rion Dennis, co-political action chair for the Maryland State Conference of the NAACP. “If we cannot count on [police officers] to be orderly themselves, it becomes a real breakdown in society.”

The legislative work group was formed by Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) and House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) after the Baltimore riots in April and the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who suffered a severe spinal cord injury while in police custody. Gray’s death sparked unrest in the city and placed Maryland at the center of a national discussion about police use of deadly or excessive force on African Americans. Six police officers have been charged in Gray’s death.

The panel, which has examined police training and recruitment, focused its efforts Monday on the country’s oldest Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights, enacted in Maryland in 1974.

Police union officials said the policy, which is designed to provide due process rights to officers, needs no revision.

“The LEOBR works and does not need to be changed,” said Frank D. Boston III, the legislative counsel for the Maryland Fraternal Order of Police. “It weeds out the bad police officers or bad apples and serves to protect the good police officers who are doing their jobs.”

Dale Jones, president of the Fraternal Order of Police in Prince George’s County, said 198 officers have been terminated or resigned with prejudice for misconduct over the past 10 years, an indication that the LEOBR serves its purpose.

Police chiefs and sheriffs said they are willing to help the committee make adjustments to the statute if it will provide accountability and trust in the administrative process.

“We have a perception problem that we don’t fire bad cops, but I think we do fire bad cops,” said Phil Hinkle, an attorney and chief of staff for the Charles County Sheriff’s Office. “If opening up the hearings [when a police officer goes before a trial board], if that’s what it’s going to take to help the perception, bring it on.”

Del. Curt Anderson (D-Baltimore City), the committee co-chairman, asked several chiefs whether their trial boards are open to the public. Prince George’s officials said their hearings are open to the public but are not advertised.

Hinkle said his office had no concerns with shortening the 10-day rule to five days or even three days.

Del. C.T. Wilson (D-Charles) said one of the biggest complaints he has heard from constituents about police brutality is the amount of time officers are given before they are required to cooperate with an investigation.

“We have to find a middle ground,” Wilson said, adding that an officer has a year and a day to file an assault charge against a suspect and that the same time frame should be given to a person who accuses an officer of excessive force.

During a news conference before the hearing, advocates also raised concerns about the process by which the panel has gathered information over the past few months.

Marion Gray-Hopkins, a Prince George’s mother whose son, Gary A. Hopkins Jr., an unarmed college student, was killed in an altercation with police in 1999, said that she has no confidence in the panel’s work.

“I think it’s a dog and pony show,” she said.

The panel has held all its hearings in Annapolis. One town hall was held this past month to receive information from the public, but some who attended said they were not permitted to discuss their recommendations for changing policy, including the LEOBR.

“Having [hearings] in the middle of August in the middle of the day also makes it difficult for regular people to come out and let their voices be heard,” Dennis said, “and that’s who really needs to be heard on this issue, because people every day are having adverse run-ins with police wherein the system of accountability has shown to be broken.”





Maryland police union officials oppose changes to rights law

By Michael Dresser The Baltimore Sun

Maryland police unions say the Law Enforcement Bill of Rights is working well.
Representatives of Maryland police unions urged a legislative panel Monday to uphold a law that protects the rights of accused officers, but their managers told the panel they’re open to changes to improve public perceptions.
The differing messages came at a hearing of the General Assembly’s Public Safety and Policing Workgroup on the state’s Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights. The law, known as LEOBR, has been the target of critics of the criminal justice system who contend it protects “bad apples” on police forces from internal discipline.
Frank Boston III, legislative counsel for the state Fraternal Order of Police, said the current law is fair and has been working well to protect the public and officers.
“It weeds out the bad police officers, the bad actors and it serves to protect the good officers who are only doing their jobs,” he said.
Boston acknowledged that in the current political climate, with the conduct of police officers a matter of national scrutiny, lawmakers may want to make changes. He said the union would work with the panel as it considers changes to recommend to the legislature.
“We’re not here to be adversarial,” Boston said.
Representatives of their superiors, the state’s police chiefs and sheriffs, testified that the 40-year-old law is in need of revision and signaled that they are sympathetic to some of the changes suggested by such groups as the NAACP and ACLU of Maryland.
Among those revisions is cutting the 10-day period in which an officer suspected of misconduct has to retain a lawyer before they must submit to a departmental disciplinary interrogation. Advocates say the officers don’t need nearly that long to find counsel and say the 10-day rule makes it easier for police to collude on a cover story. FOP representatives contended that collusion simply doesn’t occur and denied any need to change the rule.
The police chiefs and sheriffs staked out a middle ground. Their witnesses said the rule doesn’t impede them significantly because their internal investigators seldom want to interrogate suspected cases until they have thoroughly investigated the case. But they signaled that they’re willing to see a change if it allays public suspicions about the process.
“If the perception from the public is that this is so important to our jobs, let’s make it three days or five days,” said Phil Hinkle, chief of staff to the Charles County Sheriff’s Office. The law, he said, can be improved.
“We have a perception problem that we don’t fire bad cops, but we do fire bad cops,” he said.
The chiefs and sheriffs are working on proposals to revise the law and expect to release them in about 30 days, said Karen J. Kruger, general counsel for the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association.
Other changes being sought by advocates and resisted by the police unions include giving civilians a role in adjudicating police investigations.
Herbert R. Weiner, general counsel for the state FOP, told the panel that fellow police officers are best able to determine whether another office has committed misconduct.
“Who would be the judges of police officers? Plumbers?” he said.
But the Rev. Todd Yeary, legislative chair for the NAACP, had no problem with that.
“The plumber can vote. The plumber can run for public office. The plumber can serve in the General Assembly,” Yeary said. If the plumber can help write laws governing police, he asked, why couldn’t he participate in a trial board.
House Speaker Michael E. Busch and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller formed the work group after a legislative session that saw many proposed bills on police reform but little in the way of concrete action. Legislative leaders pointed out that it was the first year of the legislature’s four-year term and that many freshmen legislators were still learning the ropes.
The work group includes senators and delegates of both parties, representing urban, suburban and rural jurisdictions. Among its members are lawmakers with experience as police and prosecutors.
The impetus for police reforms grew after the death of Freddie Gray, 25, of injuries suffered while in Baltimore police custody set off rioting in the city. Six police officers were indicted for their roles in Gray’s arrest and transport, charged with assault and manslaughter — and in the case of one officer, second-degree murder.
The hearing Monday was the work group’s first to focus specifically of the police bill of rights, which spells out protections for officers accused of misconduct. Critics of the law, including the ACLU of Maryland and the NAACP, contend the law go too far in shielding officers in cases of brutality and other misconduct.
Police unions contend the law, first adopted in 1974 but amended many times since, is necessary to protect their members from frivolous charges and to ensure due process.
Kruger told the panel that Maryland became the first state to adopt such a law in the wake of the civil unrest of the late 1960s.
Leading off the hearing with a briefing on the law’s details, Kruger said any law that has been on the books for 40 years needs to be updated, including some made obsolete by technology.
Among the changes she urged was to drop the references in the current law to “police brutality” and to change them to “excessive use of force.”
Del. Curt Anderson, the House co-chair of the work group, said he believes there is a consensus of the panel to make that change. Anderson, a Baltimore Democrat, said that while some advocates might want to do away with the 10-day entirely, the work group is more likely to seek a middle ground.
Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun

In August We Remember Three Fallen Heroes

The Anniversary of the line-of-duty death of Bro. Michael Howe is August 11, 2015. .
On the morning of August 10, 2008, Lieutenant Michael Howe was with his tactical unit at the scene of a murder-suicide in Precinct 4/Pikesville. When he returned home after the incident, he suffered a massive stroke and was taken to the hospital. He died on August 11, 2008.
Please remember and honor Bro. Howe by wearing your Memorial Ribbon Bar on each August 11th

The Anniversary of the line-of-duty death of Bro. Samuel Snyder is August 23, 2015. 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. Please remember and honor Bro. Snyder by wearing your Memorial Ribbon Bar on each August 23rd.

The Anniversary of the line-of-duty death of Bro. Jason Schneider is August 28, 2015. 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. Please remember and honor Bro. Schneider by wearing our Memorial Ribbon Bar on each August 28th.

Towson police officer works to ‘maintain calm’

Keenen Green grew up in Parkville. It’s his old neighborhood and he knows it well. Now, in a twist of fate, Green patrols it as a Baltimore County Police Officer assigned to the Towson/ Precinct 6.

“I didn’t always want to be a policeman. When I was in high school, I began looking into careers and the more I read about it, the better it sounded,” said Green, 24.

Green was scheduled to be honored Tuesday by the Baltimore County Police and Community Relations Council as Towson/Precinct 6’s Officer of the Year for 2014. Nominated five times in 2014 as the precinct’s officer of the month, his supervisors chose him three times for that honor.

According to supervisors, wrote Wesley Wood of the police relations council, Green was instrumental in apprehending suspects for, among others, serious assault, first-degree burglary and commercial armed robbery. The most visible case he worked on was the murder at the Welcome Inn in August 2014. Green’s documented information directly led to the arrest of four people involved, including the shooter by the Baltimore County Police Homicide Unit.

Green, the son of Paula and Vernell Green, attended Halstead Academy, a Baltimore County public elementary school, where he credits Gary Dousett, the Baltimore County Police Department’s community outreach officer there, with being as close to a mentor as you can have at that age.

“His attitude, his selflessness” inspired me. “It was a positive experience,” said Green, a graduate of Dumbarton High School Class of 2009, who is studying for an associate’s degree in criminal justice from the Community College of Baltimore County. “Now I work with him.”

At the age of 19, Green was hired as a cadet with the police department, where he worked in the Evidence Management Unit until he reached 21, at which point he entered the Baltimore County Police Academy. Six months later, in June 2013, he was sworn in with the graduating rank of officer. He has since been promoted to officer first class.

Upon graduation, he was assigned to the Towson precinct, where has worked for the past two years. “It’s more than what I thought it would be,” Green said of being a policeman. “It’s a huge shift, a mindset, in how people treat you and how I treat people.”

When he talks about a shift, Green, who is African-American, isn’t referring to race. “Most people — 95 percent — treat you the same way,” regardless of race, he said.

Rather, he is talking about being super-cautious in responding to calls, “to making sure everyone goes home safe — the public and me,” said Green, who often responds to 911 calls.

“It’s usually the worst moment of [the caller’s] life. People are very emotional. I listen to both sides without bias. I maintain a level of calm,” he said.

Green also has a way of communicating in other situations that puts people at ease. “You don’t talk down to people. You treat them with some type or respect, and they’re willing to talk to you,” Green said. For example, during the interrogation of a suspect for one crime, Green found out that the man had witnessed the murder at the Welcome Inn, a key factor in helping to solve that crime.

Each of the 10 police precincts in Baltimore County has a Police and Community Relations Council, neighborhood groups that support the precincts. Each precinct council selects an Officer of the Year for that precinct. Capt. Jay Landsman Jr., commander of the Towson Precinct, provided the Towson council with synopses of 2014’s officers of the month for its decision.

Said Landsmann, “Officer Green has a level of maturity and skill beyond his two years’ experience” on the police force.

“It’s not just finding the bad guys. It’s the way Green does interviews, talks to people on the street and gathers information that assists [other officers] in building a case,” Landsman said.

As for Green, he sees himself staying with the police department and, eventually, segueing into the narcotics unit. “I want to get drugs off the street,” said Green, who is proud to be a police officer.

“It’s been a positive experience. I’ve enjoyed the past two years,” he said.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun

Fallen Hero Anniversary Date: Officer Charles A. Huckeba

The anniversary date of the line-of-duty-death of Charles A. Huckeba is Monday, July 6, 2015.

Officer Charles Huckeba was gunned down 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.

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 Charles A. Huckeba by wearing their Memorial Ribbon Bars on July 6th of each year.

Raffle to benefit the Baltimore City Officers Suspended without Pay

We are selling raffle tickets for the Baltimore City officers who are suspended without pay.  All proceeds will go directly to them.  Anyone interested in purchasing a ticket may come to the lodge and make a purchase or send a payment (cash or check made to FOP Lodge #4) to the lodge and we will fill out your information on the ticket(s).  Winners will be notified immediately after the drawing. Tickets are $10 each or 3 for $20.

raffle ticket sample

Maryland’s Highest Court Rules That Records of Police Misconduct Can be Kept From Public

Internal records related to a police officer’s misconduct cannot be disclosed to the public and are exempt from the Maryland Public Information Act, the Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.

The question before the state’s highest court centered on whether citizens have a right to know the outcome and other information about an investigation once misconduct allegations are sustained. In a 5-2 ruling, the court said the law exempts personnel information from disclosure and does not differentiate between “sustained” and “unsustained” complaints.

read the opinion:

FOP President Canterbury’s Statement on Violence Against Police


Chuck Canterbury, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police, renewed his call for Congress to expand the existing Federal hate crimes law to include protections for law enforcement officers in the wake of the assault on the Dallas Police Department, an attack on Philadelphia police officers and the shooting of a Florida State Trooper.

“Talking heads on television and inflammatory rhetoric on social media are inciting acts of hatred and violence toward our nation’s peace officers,” Canterbury said. “Our members are increasingly under fire by individuals motivated by nothing more than a desire to kill or injure a cop. Enough is enough!”

“And what is the response from our leaders in Washington? The President and his Administration want to limit our access to anti-ballistic equipment and other surplus gear because it looks too scary,” Canterbury said. “The House passed a spending bill eliminating the program to help communities hire more police officers and refuses to reauthorize a program to help departments buy soft body armor.”

“We need help, we need the right equipment to keep us safe and we need Congress to protect law enforcement officers by expanding the existing hate crimes law to protect police officers.”

Canterbury recounted numerous incidents in the past several days in which law enforcement officers were deliberately targeted for death or injury:

**A gunman armed with assault weapons and explosives used an armored car to get close to the headquarters of the Dallas Police Department and opened fire in an effort to kill law enforcement officers. One of the pipe bombs the assailant had placed outside the building was detonated. Fortunately, no officers were injured in this full-scale assault. Law enforcement officers used .50 caliber rounds to disable the armored vehicle–rounds which new regulations issued by the Obama Administration are now“prohibited” from Federal issuance to State and local agencies.

**Just hours after the incident in Dallas, a gunman opened fire on Philadelphia police officers who were responding to a 911 call. The gunman then barricaded himself in a home resulting in a stand off that lasted several hours. The Philadelphia Police Department deployed a SWAT team and an armored vehicle to protect responding officers. These armored vehicles are now categorized as “controlled equipment” under the Administration’s new guidelines to make them more difficult for local law enforcement to obtain to “soften” the appearance of local law enforcement agencies. While no officers were injured, the gunman killed another man and himself before the incident was resolved.

**In Brevard County, a Florida State Trooper, Lieutenant Channing Taylor, approached a vehicle which was experiencing problems with the headlights while stopped at a gas station. As the driver was producing her drivers’ license, the passenger–a 15-year old boy–drew a handgun and shot Lt. Taylor. The officer returned fire, killing his assailant, and the driver attempted to flee. Lt. Taylor is expected to make a full recovery from his wounds.

“Our nation’s law enforcement officers are in harm’s way–that is the nature of our profession and we understand that goes with the job,” Canterbury said. “Yet we will not allow ourselves to be targets for every would be assassin that wants to make his name by killing a police officer and we deserve the support and respect of our national, State and local leaders.”

“This Administration needs to put public safety ahead of appearance when it comes to equipment programs, the House needs to fund hiring and soft body armor programs and Congress needs to expand the hate crimes law,” Canterbury said. “Summer is not quite here and I do not want to spend it attending funerals for officers killed just because they wear a badge. Enough is enough!”

The Fraternal Order of Police is the largest law enforcement labor organization in the United States, with more than 330,000 members.