Baltimore County Officers and Citizens Honored at Awards Ceremony

Last night, the Baltimore County Police Department presented awards to officers and county residents as part of an awards ceremony. The event was held at Notre Dame Preparatory School, 815 Hampton Lane, Towson 21286.

Baltimore County Police Chief Melissa R. Hyatt presented the awards, while Pastor Melvin Rascoe presided over the invocation and benediction.

Awards are given to officers who have performed extraordinarily over the last 12 months. The Baltimore County Police Department Awards Review Board spends months reviewing nominations based on departmental standard criteria.

Awards are presented to officers in the following categories:

Silver Star: This is the second highest Departmental Award. It recognizes officers who demonstrate valor, courage, intelligence and bravery over and above that normally demanded and expected.

  • Officer Nicholas A. Creaghan – Precinct 12/Dundalk
  • Officer Sheldon J. Reed – Precinct 12/Dundalk
  • Officer Branden C. A. Sands – Precinct 2/Woodlawn

Commendation: This is the third highest Departmental Award. It is awarded to officers who display courage and devotion to duty above that normally required, or who display intelligence during unusual circumstances, or who demonstrate initiative in solving a crime, or one who, under certain circumstances, arrest an armed and dangerous person.

  • Corporal Brian M. Cowley – Precinct 12/Dundalk
  • Detective Anthony N. Armetta – Criminal Investigations Bureau/Criminal Apprehension Support Team
  • Detective Allen E. Jones – Criminal Investigations Bureau/Criminal Apprehension Support Team
  • Detective Kenneth P. Nacke – Criminal Investigations Bureau/Criminal Apprehension Support Team
  • Detective Jason M. Sutton – Criminal Investigations Bureau/Criminal Apprehension Support Team
  • Detective Ellis E. Temple – Precinct 2/Woodlawn
  • Officer Christopher P. Harding – Precinct 12/Dundalk
  • Officer Kevin Pichardo – Precinct 12/Dundalk
  • Officer Dillon D. Waugh – Precinct 2/Woodlawn

Emergency Service Award: This award is awarded for an effort to save a human life.

  • Officer Timothy J. Bull – Precinct 12/Dundalk
  • Deputy Stacey Dickens – Baltimore City Sheriff’s Department
  • Officer Robert E. Francis – Precinct 12/Dundalk
  • Officer Kevin M. Thomas – Precinct 9/White Marsh

Distinguished Citizen’s Award: This award is presented to a citizen who rendered valuable assistance to Department members.

  • Jason Bremer
  • Tatyana Brown
  • Joseph Green
  • Michael R. Heller
  • Jeremy Kirkpatrick
  • Joseph C. McDermott
  • Robert Moore
  • Adedeji Oduntan
  • Daniel T. Rogers
  • Roy R. Taylor
  • Graftin Tyler

Congratulations to Our Members Who Were Promoted!!

The Baltimore County Police Department held a promotion ceremony for 23 officers and two professional staff members on Monday, October 28.

Family and friends joined Baltimore County Executive John Olszewski, Jr., Chief Melissa R. Hyatt and other dignitaries for the event.

The following is a list of the promoted officers.

Promoted to the rank of Captain

  • Lieutenant Deanna L. Chemelli is promoted to the rank of Captain and is assigned to Precinct 6/Towson
  • Lieutenant Craig A. Mitchell is promoted to the rank of Captain and is assigned to Precinct 11/Essex

Promoted to the rank of Lieutenant

  • Sergeant Kevin C. Felbinger
  • Sergeant Mallory J. Grantham
  • Sergeant Tonya L. Johnson
  • Sergeant Lee M. Prince
  • Sergeant Paul L. Schulman

Promoted to the rank of Sergeant

  • Corporal Daniel M. Burns
  • Corporal Patrick R. Burns
  • Corporal William D. Delcher
  • Corporal Robert J. Huncher, Jr.
  • Corporal Bruce W. Kindervater
  • Corporal Dana P. McCormick
  • Corporal Joshua A. Watson
  • Corporal Randall W. Wright

Promoted to the rank of Corporal

  • Officer Robin D. Brock
  • Officer Robert C. Easter
  • Officer Scott G. McIlvain
  • Officer Jeffrey A. McMillan
  • Officer Rosa Park
  • Officer Jeremy R. Price
  • Officer Daniel R. Topper
  • Officer Rebecca L. Wagner

Professional Staff Promotions

  • Samantha Bosse is promoted to Criminal Records Supervisor
  • Kathy Wallace is promoted to Executive Secretary

Today is National Law Enforcement Suicide Awareness Day

Serve and Protect Yourself

For the dedicated men and women who selflessly safeguard our communities, the emotional toll they face is not always visible. Nationally, first responder suicides now outnumber line-of-duty deaths and in 2018 alone America saw a 13% increase in police officer suicides.

In a report commissioned by the Ruderman Family Foundation examining the behavioral health needs of first responders, an unfortunate and disproportionate trend can be seen. Police officers are five times more likely to experience PTSD and depression than the civilian population. Police officers, on average, witness 188 critical accidents during their career.  That coupled with the unique on the job stressors and consistent exposure to secondary trauma takes can take a heavy toll.

In Baltimore County, our dedicated men and women are no stranger to this rising behavioral health crisis. Just last year, the statistic hit home when we lost one of our own, a 21-year veteran, to suicide.  Oftentimes the stigma associated with behavioral health issues keeps many officers from seeking the help they need.  As the ones responsible for supporting others during a crisis, it can be hard to admit that you too need support. Many officers hesitate to come forward with their experience due to feelings of shame or fear. Yet despite the statistics, less than 10% of departments across the country offer suicide prevention programs and many more lack much needed behavioral health resources.

The FOP Lodge #4 recognizes the growing issue of police suicides as an epidemic and are determined to combat the issue. By providing a safe and supportive space to our officers to access resources we are challenging stigma head on and sending a message to our members that it’s okay to seek help. As an organization, we believe in normalizing “it’s okay to not be okay”.

September is National Suicide Awareness Month and as such we encourage all members to learn more about the warning signs and risk of suicide. FOP Lodge #4 reminds you that taking care of yourself means taking care of your whole self. If you or someone you need help, know that resources are available and that you do have options.

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) to speak to a trained counselor. The free lifeline is always open, available to everyone and is confidential. .

Additional Resources:

  1. Text BLUE to 741741 to connect you with free, 24/7 confidential Crisis Text Line services.
  2. The National Alliance for Mental health has a website dedicated to Law Enforcement Officers. Learn more: https://www.nami.org/find-support/law-enforcement-officers
  3. The Suicide Prevention Resource Center has a website dedicated to Law Enforcement Officers. Learn more: https://www.sprc.org/settings/law-enforcement
  4. 1st Help is a searchable database dedicated to finding emotional, financial, and spiritual assistance for first responders: http://1sthelp.net/

Dave Rose
2nd Vice President

Walden University | Introducing the Fraternal Order of Police Scholarship Program

In celebration of professional excellence,

Walden University is offering scholarships to members of the Fraternal Order of Police who enroll in a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree program for start dates in September 2019 through December 2019.

A Total of 19 scholarships will be awarded for the following programs:*

Bachelor’s Degree Programs: up to $11,000

Master’s Degree Programs: up to $13,000

Doctoral Degree Programs: up to $15,000

[ Apply Today ]( http://trk.cp20.com/click/9lxm-1cn4ea-kulp53-wql8wb1/

How to Apply:
1. Visit WaldenU.edu/FOP
Fill out the form to request more information. An enrollment advisor will be in touch about the next steps.
2. Apply to Walden

The first 19 applicants to meet the eligibility requirements and enroll for a start date in September 2019 through December 2019 will be eligible to receive a scholarship.
[Apply Today ]( http://trk.cp20.com/click/9lxm-1cn4ea-kulp54-wql8wb2/

Fraternal Order of Police Scholarship Program Eligibility Requirements:
Scholarship recipients:

Must be FOP members. Must have at least a 3.25 GPA in previous undergraduate and graduate coursework.
Must meet all admission requirements and be fully accepted into one of Walden University’s eligible programs, with the university in receipt of all of the applicant’s official documentation.
Cannot receive another merit-based Walden scholarship.
If applicants for nursing programs, must have current and active licensure in their country of residence.
Must start classes in September 2019 through December 2019, or the scholarship will be forfeited.

Cannot be employed by Laureate Education, Inc. or any of its subsidiaries.

[ request info and apply today ]( http://trk.cp20.com/click/9lxm-1cn4ea-kulp55-wql8wb3/ )

1-855-591-7858  |  WaldenU.edu/FOP

*A scholarship is applicable to tuition only and does not apply toward books, materials, and other supplies or fees needed for the program. Current or former Walden students are not eligible for this scholarship. All scholarship recipients who enroll in a Walden program are responsible for the technology fee each term as well as any other non-tuition costs including but not limited to residency travel and other university or program fees as applicable. This offer may not be combined with another offer. Scholarship funds cannot be combined with partner tuition benefits and/or any current grants, scholarships, or promotions being offered.

The scholarships being awarded apply to all programs, excluding the Family Nurse Practitioner specialization in the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program, Tempo Learning® programs, the accelerated specializations and the Self-Designed specialization in the MS in Education (MSEd) program, and the PhD in Management and PhD in Public Health completion programs.

Scholarship recipients must be members of the Fraternal Order of Police and start classes on a start date in September, October, November, or December 2019, or the scholarship will be forfeited. Recipients must have at least a 3.25 GPA in previous undergraduate or graduate coursework and cannot have received another merit-based Walden scholarship. Applicants must meet all the admission requirements and be fully accepted into one of Walden University’s eligible programs, with the university in receipt of all the applicant’s official documentation. Applicants to nursing programs must have current and active licensure in their country of residence. Scholarship recipients cannot be employed by Laureate Education, Inc., or any of its subsidiaries.

Scholarships will be awarded as a tuition reduction as follows: Up to $2,200 for up to five consecutive terms for bachelor’s programs and the Doctor of Education (EdD) program; up to $2,600 for up to five consecutive terms for master’s programs; up to S2,500 for up to six consecutive terms for doctoral programs (excluding the Doctor of Education (EdD) program; and up to $1,400 for up to five consecutive terms for the MSEd program. If a scholarship recipient’s tuition fees are less than the maximum per-term award amount or a scholarship recipient enrolls for less than the maximum number of consecutive terms, the full amount of the scholarship will not be received.

Scholarship funds will not be applied to any past due balance or outstanding bills or charges. Students will not receive cash back at any time. Students must remain continuously enrolled in the designated program in order to receive the scholarship. Students who withdraw from the program or university or change to another degree program will not remain eligible for this scholarship and will forfeit the remaining scholarship funds. In order for scholarship funding to continue until the award is depleted, recipients must meet the satisfactory academic progress criteria set forth by Walden University’s current catalog for the duration of their program.
All tuition reductions, grants, or scholarships are subject to specific eligibility requirements. Contact a Walden University enrollment advisor for details.

Baltimore Co. seeks ruling to narrow class affected in back pay case

Baltimore County is asking a federal judge to narrow the class of county employees entitled to damages in an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission age discrimination case.

The county owes more than a decade of back pay to some of its employees after the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the EEOC last year and the Supreme Court declined to hear the county’s appeal. The 4th Circuit reversed the trial court and held that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act makes back pay mandatory.

The case returned to the trial court for a determination on damages owed and the county filed a motion earlier this month seeking a ruling on the scope of the class.

The EEOC originally sued over the county’s pension plan, which had higher contribution rates for employees 40 and older. The county changed its policy in 2007 and employees hired after the change paid the same rate regardless of age. The parties and unions involved agreed to a plan that gradually equalized contribution rates for those on the old plan.

The county estimated 12,000 pension beneficiaries are affected by the 4th Circuit’s decision, but in a letter to U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett Wednesday, the county raised a new allegation: that the EEOC initially had a much narrower definition of “aggrieved individual” in mind, but then pursued damages in court on behalf of a broader class.

Federal law requires the agency to seek voluntary compliance from an employer through a conciliation process before filing suit, according to the county, and the EEOC attempted to conciliate only with respect to the narrower class, not the broader one.

The “narrow class” discussed in conciliation consisted of individuals hired when they were 40 or older who were currently employed by the county, not those who were hired when they were below 40 who then paid the higher rate once they turned 40 or those no longer employed, according to the county.

“In conclusion, the County is respectfully requesting this Court to either (1) bind the EEOC to the narrower definition of the class it espoused in conciliation; or (2) order the EEOC to undertake the mandated efforts to obtain voluntary compliance with respect to the class as it has defined it in the lawsuit,” the letter concludes.

The county plans to file a supplement to its motion arguing this point, according to the filing.

A spokesman for the county declined to comment Thursday.

The case is Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Baltimore County, 1:07-cv-02500.

By Heather Coburn September 12, 2019

 

Supreme Court won’t review Baltimore County back pay ruling

An appellate opinion finding Baltimore County owes more than a decade of back pay to some of its employees will stand after the Supreme Court declined to review the case Monday.

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 county changed its policy in 2007 and employees hired after the change paid the same rate regardless of age. The parties and unions involved agreed to a plan that gradually equalized contribution rates for those on the old plan, but the EEOC pursued damages for the employees affected.

A U.S. District judge denied the request, but on appeal the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held the Age Discrimination in Employment Act requires back pay. The county petitioned for review in the Supreme Court and was denied.

The case will be remanded to the trial court for a determination on the amount of back pay owed. The county has not made any recent estimates about the potential cost but claimed in its petition to the Supreme Court that the 4th Circuit’s decision failed to “recognize the havoc it will cause to the County’s pension plan administrators.”

The county estimates 12,000 beneficiaries are affected by the decision.

County spokesman T.J. Smith said Monday that the county will continue to defend the interests of taxpayers but pointed to the time and expense that complying with the court’s decision will require.

“Moving forward, it will, undoubtedly, take longer and will use a considerable amount of money and personnel to determine the damages,” he said.

The EEOC declined to comment Monday.

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. On appeal, the agency agreed the delay was not reasonable and said it would not pursue damages for the years between the initial notice and letter of determination.

4th Circuit

The county argued in its petition to the Supreme Court that the 4th Circuit’s ruling was in conflict with precedent over monetary relief in pension cases and its conclusion had not been reached by any other federal court.

The EEOC replied that there was no conflict because no court has ruled, as the county argued, that back pay awards under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act are discretionary.

In its published opinion, the 4th Circuit panel determined back pay was mandatory under the ADEA because the law incorporated 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.”

The case is Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Baltimore County et al., No. 18-781.

FOP Lodge #4 statement on the verdict in the murder trial of Officer Amy Caprio

The Baltimore County Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge #4 extends its condolences to the family of our member, Sister Amy Caprio.  This past week and year have been difficult for all members of her family, the community and members of the FOP.  The pain of losing our friend and colleague is immeasurable.

The FOP would like to thank the prosecutors from the State’s Attorney’s Office, as well as the jurors who listened to the testimony and reviewed all of the evidence.

The FOP will continue to support Officer Caprio’s family and colleagues, particularly through the adjudication of additional defendants.

As we move into the month of May and prepare for our local, state and national memorial services to honor the lives of fallen officers, we are reminded of the risks officers take in serving. We appreciate the support the community has extended us and ask for your prayers for the safety of our members.

Contract Ratification Results

On April 23 and 24, 2019 the tentative settlement agreement between the Baltimore County Administration and Baltimore County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #4 (FOP) was presented to the membership for ratification. Members of the FOP were at every precinct, headquarters and training at various hours on both days in an effort to provide the opportunity for as many members as possible to vote. The ballots were counted at the close of business on Wednesday April 24, 2019.

The voting totals were as follow: FOR Ratification – 1,000    AGAINST – 14
This Memorandum of Understanding is for July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020

Thank you to all of those who participated.

Watch Video Testimony in the State Senate of the FOP Opposition to HB1382-Changes to LEOBR

Members of the Maryland State FOP testify in front of Senate Judicial Proceedings in opposition of HB1382 sponsored by Delegate Luke Clippinger.  The FOP OPPOSES this bill as written. This legislation would Make significant changes to the LEOBR by requiring the entire unedited audio recording of a hearing board made available to the public.

In addition, it would require the “findings of fact”, sustained charges and disciplinary action be released.

These are employment actions between an employer and employee. They not required to be made public for other public employees.

This bill passed in the House Judiciary Committee 19-1. It passed the House 117-21.

It is now in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. Please contact the committee members and urge them to  vote “no” for HB1382. Significant changes were made to the LEOBR in 2016 HB1016 and you are opposed to this or any other changes.

Video of testimony in Senate JPR

The sponsor begins at approximately 17:20
The FOP begins at approximately 24:45

Watch Video Testimony of the FOP Opposition in the House of Delegates to HB1382-Changes to LEOBR

Members of the Maryland State FOP testify in front of House Judiciary in opposition of HB1382 sponsored by Delegate Luke Clippinger.  The FOP OPPOSES this bill. This legislation would Make significant changes to the LEOBR by requiring the entire unedited audio recording of a hearing board made available to the public.

In addition, it would require the “findings of fact”, sustained charges and disciplinary action be released.

These are employment actions between an employer and employee. They not required to be made public for other public employees.

This bill passed in the House Judiciary Committee 19-1. It passed the House 117-21.

It will now go the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. Please contact the committee members and urge them to vote “no” for HB1382. Significant changes were made to the LEOBR in 2016 HB1016 and you are opposed to this or any other changes.

Video of testimony