Dear Cole, Board and General Membership of F.O.P. Lodge #4:
I wanted to let you know personally how much your generous donations meant not only to me but to the recipients of the Law Enforcement United (L.E.U.), Road to Hope 2016 Bike Ride donations. Many of you donated on your own and wrote kind words and fond memories of Mark on my page. I read each of these to our kids, we were all so touched. They mean more than you will ever know. Thank you! The donation made from the Lodge left me speechless and you can bet I bragged of your generosity to fellow riders. Officers who I ride next to often ask those of us who are survivors to share our story and I am always thankful for the opportunity to talk about Mark and the Baltimore Co Police Dept, and of course Lodge 4.
A little bit about the bike ride. L.E.U. has been in existence now for only six years. Their goal is to Honor the fallen officers and to remember the survivors. There are several L.E.U. teams (Reading, Pa, Chesapeake, Va, Ruff Riders for ride for L.O.D deaths canine dogs–they ride the C&O trail and now a team from New Jersey). Once again I rode with the Reading, Pa team which is supported by motors from local townships near Reading, departments in Pittsburgh and Lancaster. We start in Reading on day 1 of our ride and finish up near York, we stop along the way at local volunteer fire halls or Police/fire Memorials. Day 2 we ride into Maryland crossing into Harford County and ride through Towson and spend the night in Hanover. Day 3 we head towards D.C. where we meet up with the other 3 L.E.U. teams of riders and head towards a National Memorial where there is a ceremony and many of the surviving families are there to greet us.
I rode this year for the first Maine State Trooper killed in the L.O.D. He was shot and killed during a bank robbery in 1964, he was only 28 years old. His wife Mary was pregnant with their third son when she heard about the shooting on the radio. Mary and her family had very little support back then. She faced an uphill battle, eventually having one of her sons commit suicide. The youngest son attended the C.O.P.S. Adult Children retreat for the first time last June- he is ~ 52 years old. He met our daughter Caroline that weekend. He persuaded his mom to attend her first Spouse retreat last September, which is where I met Mary. Mary’s families sacrifice touched me so. She shared with me how she eventually ran for the Maine State Legislature and sponsored legislation implementing the L.O.D. death benefit for Maine’s fallen heroes. Mary has never been to D.C., she has never seen her husband’s name on the Law Enforcement Memorial Wall. At the age of 80 Mary made it to D.C. this year. I was most honored to have rode for Trooper Black and was so pleased that Mary was there to greet me and the other L.E.U. riders as we rode into the Iwo Jima Monument.
This year our Reading team (~ 80 riders and 30 support) had officers and support from Colorado, various parts of Ohio, Syracuse NY, Florida and of course many from Pennsylvania. It was only myself and a Baltimore City SWAT officer though from Maryland. The commitment and sacrifice these riders/motors/support make by leaving their families, their jobs, taking PTO, raising funds and not to mention riding over 210 + miles on a bike is humbling. This year all 4 teams of the L.E.U. raised $300,00.00 towards C.O.P.S. Kids camp, $75,000.00 towards the O.D.M.P. (which honors our fallen officers) and $20,000.00 towards the Spirit of Blue Foundation (which works towards enhancement of officer safety on the job).
I am honored and grateful I can ride this bike ride and God Willing I will do so again next year. I would love to have some Baltimore County officers join me in riding and/or providing support. Please look at L.E.U.’s facebook page or their web sites. The annual membership starts in July and the rides often close by early November, so it is not too early to think about it. The ride is May 10-12th each year.
Once again thank you for supporting me and also your generous support of National C.O.P.S. While attending the C.O.P.S conference in D.C. I saw Lodge 4 listed on several large banners acknowledging their support of C.O.P.S.
Please accept this plaque from the L.E.U.-Pa board as an additional acknowledgement of the Lodge’s generosity. I have enclosed a couple of pictures from this year’s Road to Hope ride. I also am enclosing one of this year’s Beer glasses from the Chophouse restaurant near the NLEOM. I am sure someone can use it-toast to Mark, and our other fallen heroes from BaCoPD. Stay safe. and again, thank you all.
Lynne Parry and family
The Greene Turtle in Whitemarsh is donating 20% of the total bill to help support the Baltimore County Police Department baseball camp. If you have some free time stop by the Greene Turtle in Whitemarsh on Friday June 10, 2016 between 11am til 2am. Enjoy some food and atmosphere while helping to support a good cause.
Remember you must have the flier for the donation.
Thanks in advance.
On May 31 at 10 a.m., nine Baltimore County police officers will be promoted. The ceremony will take place at Oregon Ridge, 13401 Beaver Dam Road, Cockeysville, 21030.
Chief James Johnson will speak at the ceremony and will present the certificates. The oath of office will be administered by the Honorable Lori McComas, Manager of Court Operations. The invocation and benediction will be offered by the Reverend Darron McKinney Sr., a police chaplain.
The following is the list of the promoted officers and their new assignments:
On April 6, 2016 the FOP filed a Class Action Grievance on behalf of our members that incurred an extra tax preparation cost for submitting amended 2015 tax returns. We have identified 271 members who received corrected Form W2’s in March because stand-by pay was not included as taxable income. We are attempting to seek reimbursement from the county for any added tax preparation cost.
We are approaching the deadline of June 1, 2016 for those who were affected to notify us of the extra cost incurred and provide a paid receipt or proof of extra payment. If you or anyone with whom you work has been affected please notify me and send any necessary documentation.
Today is Police Memorial Day, the annual remembrance of the nine Baltimore County Police Department’s who died in the line of duty, as well as department members who died while in police service.
BCoPD’s fallen officers are: Officer Edward Kuznar (d. 1969); Officer Charles A. Huckeba (d. 1977); Corporal Samuel L. Snyder (d. 1983); Officer Robert W. Zimmerman (d. 1986); Sergeant Bruce A. Prothero (d. 2000); Officer John W. Stem Sr. (d. 2000); Sergeant Mark F. Parry (d. 2002); Lieutenant Michael P. Howe (d. 2008); and Officer Jason L. Schneider (d. 2013).
The ceremony, usually held at Patriot Plaza in Towson, was moved due to inclement weather to the County Council chambers at the Historic Courthouse in Towson. Here is the text of Police Chief Jim Johnson’ remarks:
Good morning, fellow officers, honored guests and citizens of Baltimore County. Thank you for taking the time to be with us as we observe our annual Police Memorial Day. This is an occasion to remember the nine Baltimore County Police officers who gave their lives in the line of duty and, in so doing, to contemplate the meaning of the work that we do.
I do not need to tell you that all across this nation law enforcement finds itself beset by turmoil, controversy and danger. Here in Maryland, police over the past 12 months have been touched by all three.
The turmoil from the 2015 unrest in Baltimore City – felt keenly here and the other counties touching Baltimore — carried over into the New Year and has yet to see resolution in the courts and in the court of public opinion.
The controversy spawned by the Freddie Gray incident and by contentious incidents in other towns, cities and states continues to dominate headlines, foment divisions and cast an unrelenting spotlight on our mission, methods and motives.
The danger is not – as some critics of law enforcement contend – a myth. Police have not invented a threat in order to avoid a conversation about accountability. We understand fully the need to explain and defend the use of the powers entrusted to us, and to confront errors and wrongdoing on our part. We are not imagining that the times have produced anger and resentment over everything from economic and racial injustice to mental health issues and the perceived failure of institutions. All of this has morphed into a feeling of disdain for governmental authority in general and of contempt for police in particular.
While most Americans respect police and understand the challenges we face each day, the present climate is a breeding ground for non-compliance with and violence against officers. Even wholly justifiable police actions are scrutinized, criticized and second-guessed in TV and newspaper stories, on social media and around water coolers. Pervasive anti-police rhetoric empowers the few – the unbalanced and the radical – to turn their feelings into deadly action.
Last year, the U.S. Department of Justice published a study on ambush attacks on police. It notes, “Concerns about targeted violence against police are rising in an era of strained community relations, struggles with police legitimacy, and anti-government extremism.” After years of holding steady, the number of ambushes on police is rising and now constitutes the second-leading cause of shooting deaths of officers; the recent deaths of two Harford County sheriff’s deputies and a Prince George’s County detective in unprovoked, sudden attacks make us painfully aware of this fact.
It is nearly two years – an eternity in this era of 30-second attention spans — since events in Ferguson, Missouri started us down this difficult road, and still there is no end in sight. We must remember that the tenacity of this national debate shows that citizens in many communities have experiences and a point of view to which attention must be paid. The discontent is not based on nothing.
And yet, as an officer for more than 40 years who has witnessed the commitment and sacrifice of thousands of fellow police men and women and the ultimate sacrifice of far too many, I am disturbed by the disparagement of our profession. I am troubled at the stubbornness of the chosen narrative of “problem policing,” even when the facts show an officer properly responded to a threat. I am concerned that the mood of the moment may cause some – even some of us – to question the nobility and worth of our calling.
Last year, 124 U.S. officers gave their lives in the quest for a peaceful, orderly world; 42 of them died by gunfire. Thirty-five already have died this year. These figures actually understate the risks. Given that the number of non-fatal shootings is rising, we can conclude that the number of fatalities would be even higher were it not for advances in protective gear and other technology – and especially for advances in the Fire, EMS and medical profession. These first responders are saving people who in earlier eras would have died, while taking on plenty of risk themselves. They are our partners, and we thank them.
To take a longer view, consider the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. More than 20,000 names of officers killed in the line of duty are inscribed on this monument; the first known death dates back to 1791. Regardless of when they lived and died, these were men and women of valor: Fearless in the face of danger, caring of their fellow man, driven by a cause more important than themselves.
Our nine fallen heroes are remembered there, as they are here:
Edward Kuznar … Charles Huckeba … Samuel Snyder … Robert Zimmerman … Bruce Prothero … John Stem … Mark Parry … Michael Howe … Jason Schneider.
This morning is a time to remember them as we knew them – as friends, as fathers, as sons and brothers. It is a time for laughter as we recall them in happier times. It may be a time to feel the pangs of grief anew.
But most of all, this ceremony is a chance to reflect on why we are police officers … and why – no matter how fraught the times – the work we do matters.
Baltimore County will begin phasing in age-neutral pension contribution rates July 1 as a partial settlement of a federal age-discrimination lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The lawsuit, filed in 2007, challenged the county’s practice of requiring older employees to contribute more to their pension plans than younger colleagues who’ve worked for the county for the same length of time in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
Although the county changed its policy July 1, 2007 so that new hires would contribute to their pensions at a flat rate regardless of their age at the time they were hired, the contribution rates for employees hired before that date continued to be age-based, according to the consent decree signed last week.
Under the decree, which resolves the EEOC’s claims for injunctive relief, Baltimore County and six unions representing county employees are enjoined from requiring employees who are at least 40 years old to contribute to their pensions at higher rates than younger employees due to their age.
The decree establishes specific contribution rates that vary by employee title and classification, some of which will be phased in over the next three years.
For example, certain employees who are members of the Baltimore County Federation of Public Health Nurses and who were hired before July 1, 2007 will contribute 6.25 percent of their base pay to their pension starting July 1, a rate that will increase to 6.75 percent next year and 7.25 percent in 2018.
The consent decree does not address the EEOC’s claims for monetary relief, which will be addressed by the district court in later proceedings. The agency is seeking retroactive damages for employees harmed by the age-based pension policy as well as prospective damages for employees who may be harmed by the phasing-in of age-neutral rates.
“Baltimore County very much appreciates the wisdom of [U.S. District] Judge Richard Bennett in approving this settlement — the terms of which were brought to the court by Baltimore County,” said Ellen Kobler, a county spokeswoman. “We do not believe any employee was harmed and therefore do not believe any additional monetary relief is warranted. It is always important to remember, when discussing this case, that every single contract in question was arrived at through collective bargaining with all six of our employee bargaining units.”
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2014 upheld a 2012 ruling by Bennett that the county’s former pension plan was “facially discriminatory” in violation of the ADEA.
Because all county employees are eligible to retire with a full pension after 20 years of service, an employee hired at age 45 would be eligible at age 65, whereas a 25-year-old new hire would be eligible at 45. But under the county’s previous plan — which provided for contribution rates tied to age — the younger employee would contribute a smaller percentage of his or her salary to the plan than the older employee, despite receiving the same benefits, the 4th Circuit held.
The appellate court ordered the case remanded to the district court to consider damages owed to older employees.
“We brought this lawsuit because older workers had to pay a larger percentage of their salary to the pension plan to receive the same pension benefits as younger workers. That’s age discrimination, plain and simple, as both the Fourth Circuit and district court found,” Debra M. Lawrence, EEOC regional attorney, said in a statement. “We are pleased that county workers will no longer be penalized in pension contributions based on age. We look forward to the final resolution of this lawsuit and getting the older workers the monetary relief they deserve.”
The case is U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Baltimore County, et al., 1:07-cv-02500-RDB.
By: Lauren Kirkwood Daily Record Legal Affairs Writer
Brothers, Sisters and Friends:
We are a profession in crisis. No one knows this better than we do–the men and women on the street. Suddenly, all the good we do every day is forgotten, lost in the 24-hour news cycle and the ubiquity of social media.
The cause of our country’s crisis of confidence in law enforcement is a matter of some debate and our members can be assured that the FOP is at the heart of it. But it is much more difficult for our members and for all law enforcement officers who work so hard to keep our streets, neighborhoods and schools safe. The loss of support and lack of trust from the communities we protect compounds the new realities of police work – doing more with less, reduced access to equipment, budget cuts, less training – has led to lower morale among active officers and fewer people interested in making law enforcement their career. These challenges are real and like any other challenge we face in our profession, we need to face them head on.
Our local lodges and communities need to work together to find solutions in their jurisdictions. As National President, I pledge that we will not only work with you to find and implement these solutions but also work to rebuild public support for law enforcement.
This month, during National Police Week, the Fraternal Order of Police will be launching a new national campaign to remind Americans just how critical our law enforcement officers are.
The FOP Foundation will be launching a new website and social media campaign to spotlight the heroism of law enforcement — and the incredible job our officers do every day. We call this campaign “Our True Heroes.”
Our goal is to tell the stories of everyday American heroes who put their lives on the line so that our communities are safe. These stories happen every day, all across the country. You wouldn’t know it because these stories are not featured on the 6 o’clock news.
Our True Heroes is FOP’s campaign to shine a light on the good work we do — a true grassroots movement to highlight the men and women who carry a badge, who perform incredible acts of courage and heroism, as well as the small acts of kindness that reflect our love for the job and the communities where we live and serve. Real people, real heroism.
While we applaud similar existing efforts on social media, Our True Heroes is our effort to tell our story.
Our website, Ourtrueheroes.org, will also have a corresponding Facebook page and both will launch during National Police Week. We need your help. Next week, we are gathering these stories for our website content. We know that you likely have amazing stories of everyday heroes — and we need them for the launch of the website. We will also continuously update this website with fresh content as part of an ongoing effort to shine a light on the fantastic people who have made law enforcement their career.
Brothers, sisters and friends, this is an important effort. Law enforcement needs to tell our story – and it needs to be an authentic and truly a grassroots effort. The FOP is proud to serve as the platform for this effort and I hope I can count on you to help.
Monday night’s annual Baltimore County Police Foundation Awards ceremony honored 12 sworn officers and one civilian for exceptional performance. The honorees include Officers William M. Flaherty and Bernardo Tubaya, who put their lives on the line to apprehend a fugitive and murderer on February 14, 2015.
Master of Ceremonies Stan Stovall hosted the awards dinner at the Baltimore Hunt Valley Inn on April 25, 2016. Chief James W. Johnson, and Stephen P. Somers, Foundation President, presented the awards.
The following personnel received the 2016 Baltimore County Police Foundation Awards:
Valor – Officer William M. Flaherty, Precinct 2/Woodlawn and Officer Bernardo Tubaya, Special Operations Section/K-9
On February 14, 2015, Officers Flaherty and Tubaya responded to a crash in Precinct 11/Essex that followed a multi-county pursuit. The suspect was a teenager from Kentucky discovered later that day to have murdered his family. Officer Flaherty was shot in the shoulder while confronting the suspect, and Officer Tubaya fired and wounded the suspect.
Crime Prevention – Detective Albert Carl Lindhorst Jr. Criminal Investigations Division, Homeland Security and Criminal Investigation Section
A 28-year BCoPD veteran, Detective Lindhorst was honored for his work as a physical security specialist. His efforts to identify and prepare for security threats involve a comprehensive review, including recommendations, for all Baltimore County schools.
Distinguished Contribution – Mr. Mike Leedy, Planning and Crime Analysis Section, Crime and Traffic Analysis Unit
Mr. Leedy, a statistical analyst, has worked for the department for 21 years. In 2015, Mr. Leedy created the Local Crime Analysis Program (LCAP), saving the Department a significant amount of money.
Exceptional Performance – Sergeant Allen Meyer and Detective Gary Childs, Criminal Investigations Division/Person Crimes, Homicide/Missing Persons Unit
On April 20, 2000, 24-year-old Heidi Bernadzikowski was found murdered in her home. Sergeant Meyer worked this difficult case off and on for 11 years. In 2011, Sergeant Meyer brought in Detective Gary Childs. They re-examined DNA found under Heidi’s nails and found a Colorado man who was in Baltimore at the time of the murder. Another suspect, interviewed in Colorado, confirmed the man’s story. Both men were hired online by her boyfriend to kill Heidi. All three men were convicted.
Exceptional Group Performance – Criminal Investigations Division/Persons Crimes, Sexual Child Exploitation Squad:
Sergeant Kenneth Smith, Detective Christina Childs, Detective Dana Kaczynski, Detective Christopher J. Raut, and Detective Joshua Rees
The Squad began a new initiative, working with the Sex Offender Registration Team (SORT). The members accompanied SORT detectives to home visits with sex offenders and conducted computer scans to ensure that the offenders were not using computers to exploit children.
Community Service – Sergeant Mandy L. Biter and Officer Tabitha Hays, Precinct 8/Parkville
Working with an elementary school, Sergeant Biter assisted a needy family – a mother raising four children, including an infant. BCoPD provided essentials, as well as Christmas toys and other gifts. Sergeant Biter also “adopted” several elderly residents at the Morningside Assisted Living Center.
Officer Hays helped two grandparents raising their six grandchildren. Officer Hays and a friend from the Baltimore City Police set up a Facebook event to raise money, and made the holidays special for the family. Both officers spent many hours of their own time raising money, planning, organizing and preparing these events.
The awards program began in 1980 as a way to recognize Police Department employees for outstanding performance and to strengthen the relationship between the business community and the Department. The foundation contributes resources, including seed money and in-kind services, for the development of new projects.
All members of the department, both professional staff and sworn, are eligible for nomination.
H.R. 4461 (Price, R-GA), the “Federal Employees Rights Act,” which would repeal current authority allowing the deduction of labor organization dues from employee pay and prohibits federal agencies, including executive and judicial agencies, the U.S. Postal Service, the Postal Regulatory Commission, and the government of the District of Columbia, from deducting any amount from the pay of an employee for the dues of a labor organization;
The following contains the arbitration award issued on March 21, 2016 at the conclusion of the mediation and arbitration process pursuant to Title 5, Section4-5-505 of the Baltimore County Code.
The changes for FY 17 will be included in the 07/01/16 through 06/30/17 Memorandum of Understanding.
Section 5.6: Shoes -The Department shall provide each officer with a one hundred dollars ($100.00) shoe allowance per contract year, to be given in the second payroll check during the month of September to each officer on the payroll during the period covered by such payroll check.
(This is an increase of $18.00)
Section 5.7: Clothing and Cleaning Allowance – All employees will receive a cleaning allowance of two hundred twenty-five dollars ($225) for clothing maintenance per contract year, to be given in the second payroll check during the month of September to each employee on the payroll during the period covered by such payroll check. Detectives and other employees, as authorized by the Department, shall receive a clothing allowance of five hundred dollars ($500) per contract year.
(This is an increase of $25.00)
Section 5.10: Funeral Benefit– The County will fund a funeral benefit that will provide reimbursement of up to $15,000 for actual funeral expenses incurred in the event of a line of duty death, subject to the requirements of the County policy adopted and administered by the County Administrative Officer. The surviving spouse shall be presented with the badge worn by the deceased member. In the event there is no surviving spouse, the badge will be presented to the appropriate family member. The badge will be suitably mounted.
(This is an increase of #1,000.00)
Section 5.15: Gun Allowance – All employees will receive a gun allowance of one hundred dollars ($100) per contract year, to be given in the first payroll check during the month of December to each employee on the payroll during the period covered by such payroll check. (Each member will receive $100.00 per contract year to defray the cost of maintaining firearm proficiency)
Section 6.1: Wages
A) Effective July 1, 2016, pay schedule IV salary scale shall be increased by two (2%) percent.
B) Steps and longevities shall be provided in fiscal year 2017.
C. For fiscal year 2017 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, pensions and insurance, members of the Fraternal Order of Police bargaining unit shall receive the same amount of increase on the same effective date. 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 to by the County for each such improvement
Section 6.8: Shift Differential
All employees who are scheduled to work Shifts 3 & 4 shall receive a shift differential of 3.15% ($1.05) of the hourly rate of a maximum police officer first class for those hours actually worked during said shift. All employees who are scheduled to work Shift 1 shall receive a shift differential of 4% ($1.34) of the hourly rate of a maximum police officer first class for those hours actually worked during said shift. Overtime shall be based on the rate for the shift worked previous to the overtime.
(This is a new provision for shift #1. Shifts 3 & 4 will be $1.05 per hour and Shift 1 will be $1.34 per hour.)
Section 6.11: Holiday Pay
A) Employees working on the following holidays shall 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 and 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 and President’s Day and Columbus Day shall be granted leave for that day, without a change to their leave balances.
Section 10.7: Pension Modifications
F) Effective July 1, 2016 employees hired prior to July 1, 2007 contribution rate shall be 8.65% of base pay.
(Currently our members pay an age based contribution that ranges between 7.98% and 10.22% that was ruled as discriminatory by the 4th Circuit Federal Court. This will resolve that practice and place all members at the same contribution rate.)
Section 17.1 Furloughs and Lay Offs – Bargaining Unit members shall not be furloughed or laid off (i.e. “riffed”) in fiscal years 2017.
Section 18.3: Duration This Memorandum of Understanding shall become effective July 1, 2016 and shall continue in full force and effect until June 30, 2017. This Memorandum of Understanding shall be automatically renewed from year to year after June 30, 2017 unless:
On March 10, 2016, the below listed members of the Maryland General Assembly Criminal Justice House Judiciary Sub-Committee began to contemplate the removal of Collective Bargaining language from the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights (L.E.O.B.R.)
It is imperative that you and call the below Delegates to express your disappointment in their actions against police officers in Maryland and urge them to not amend or remove the Collective Bargaining language in the LEOBR.
The committee meets again on Monday March 14, 2016 at 4:00pm to discuss this issue.
Please consider donating to Lynne Parry, the spouse of Baltimore County Police Department Fallen Hero, Mark Parry, in her effort to raise money for the Officer Down Memorial Page and the Concerns of Police Survivors.
She needs to raise $1,500 but only has her donation of $400. She is not on a team. It is just her from Maryland.