Watch Video Testimony of the FOP in Opposition of of SB834 and SB843

Members of the Maryland State FOP testify in front of House Judiciary in opposition of SB834 and SB843, sponsored by Senator Jill Carter.  The FOP OPPOSES these bills. This legislation would remove the expungement provision from the LEOBR, make the Baltimore City Civilian Review Board have jurisdiction over any officer, from any agency working in the city and the right to appeal discipline to the Circuit Court if in disagreement with any Chief of Police.

Senator Carter’s testimony begins approximately at the 2:48 mark.  Chairman Zirkin questions a member of her staff about the provisions at approximately the  3:03:30 mark. The city mayor’s, and new police commissioner’s attorney speaks against the bills at approximately the 3:10 mark. FOP testimony begins at approximately the 3:13 mark.

Committee Video

Watch Video Testimony of FOP Lodge #4 in Support of HB 1382

Watch 2nd VP Dave Rose and Maryland State FOP members  testify in front of House Judiciary in support, with amendments HB 1382. The FOP does not support Section (K) (3) which authorizes the official record of a hearing board to be made public upon request.
The testimony begins approximately at the 2:26 mark and the FOP testimony begins at approximately the 3:33 mark.

Committee Video

Congratulations to the Thirty Officers Promoted in Baltimore County Police Department

On Thursday, February 21, 30 officers were promoted.

The ceremony took place at Goucher College, in the Kraushaar Auditorium, 1021 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson 21204.

Family and friends joined Baltimore County Executive John Olszewski Jr., Chief Terrence B. Sheridan and other dignitaries for the happy event. Chief Sheridan and C.E. Olszewski presented the promotion certificates to the newly promoted officers. Ms. Julie Ensor, Clerk of the Court for Baltimore County, administered the oath of office.

The following is a list of the promoted officers and their assignments:

  • Lieutenant Wilbert A. Buckingham is promoted to the rank of Captain and is assigned to Precinct 3/Franklin.
  • Lieutenant Douglas J. McManus is promoted to the rank of Captain and is assigned to the Criminal Investigations Bureau/Property.
  • Lieutenant Matthew M. Weatherly is promoted to the rank of Captain and is assigned to the Community Relations Bureau.
  • Sergeant Brenda Edelin is promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and is assigned to Precinct 11/Essex.
  • Sergeant Jeremy T. Gryctz is promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and is assigned to Precinct 11/Essex.
  • Sergeant Douglas C. Jess is promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and is assigned to Precinct 1/Wilkens.
  • Sergeant Timothy H. Moore is promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and is assigned to Precinct 8/Parkville.
  • Sergeant David J. Sweren is promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and is assigned to Precinct 4/Pikesville.
  • Corporal Joseph Barresi is promoted to the rank of Sergeant and is assigned to Precinct 11/Essex.
  • Corporal Tia A. Bynum is promoted to the rank of Sergeant and is assigned to Precinct 4/Pikesville.
  • Corporal Brian M. Cowley is promoted to the rank of Sergeant and is assigned to Precinct 1/Wilkins.
  • Corporal Christopher D. Cullip is promoted to the rank of Sergeant and is assigned to Precinct 6/Towson.
  • Corporal John T. Dawson is promoted to the rank of Sergeant and is assigned to Precinct 12/Dundalk.
  • Corporal Mohammed R. Goff is promoted to the rank of Sergeant and is assigned to Precinct 11/Essex.
  • Corporal Joseph S. Grossman is promoted to the rank of Sergeant and is assigned to Precinct 6/Towson.
  • Corporal Ernest J. Hannig is promoted to the rank of Sergeant and is assigned to Precinct 6/Towson.
  • Corporal Gregory N. Huber is promoted to the rank of sergeant and is assigned to Precinct 6/Towson.
  • Corporal Harry W. Power is promoted to the rank of Sergeant and is assigned to Precinct 2/Woodlawn.
  • Officer Sean D. Brennan is promoted to the rank of Corporal.
  • Officer Dona L. Carter is promoted to the rank of Corporal and is assigned to Precinct 12/Dundalk.
  • Officer Jason M. Claggett is promoted to the rank of Corporal and is assigned to Precinct 8/Parkville.
  • Officer Justin H. Fitch is promoted to the rank of Corporal and is assigned to Precinct 11/Essex.
  • Officer Sarah D. Huber is promoted to the rank of Corporal.
  • Officer Dennis J. Kerns is promoted to the rank of Corporal and is assigned to Precinct 3/Franklin.
  • Officer Kimberly R. Montgomery is promoted to the rank of Corporal and is assigned to Precinct 9/White Marsh.
  • Officer Brian D. Persinger is promoted to the rank of Corporal and is assigned to Precinct 7/Cockeysville.
  • Officer Jeremy F. Purkey is promoted to the rank of Corporal and is assigned to Precinct 2/Woodlawn.
  • Officer Daniel W. Sager is promoted to the rank of Corporal.
  • Officer Jason B. Swem is promoted to the rank of Corporal.
  • Officer Daniel L. Yeagley is promoted to the rank of Corporal and is assigned to Precinct 1/Wilkins.

A Snapshot of Policing in Baltimore County 2014-2018

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

 

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

 

County Population
The county population has steadily grown since 2014. Demographics available on the county website showed that in 2010 the population was 64% white, 26% African American, 4% Hispanic, 6% other.

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

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

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

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

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

Internal Affairs statistics show that between 2014 and 2018, officers were involved in combat shootings 27 times averaging 5.26 per year.  This equates to the use of a firearm in 00.00082% of all calls for service and in 00.022% of all arrests.

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Precinct 1/Wilkens

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

Precinct 2/Woodlawn

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

Precinct 3/Franklin

Officer Roxy C. Burkins

Precinct 4/Pikesville

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

Precinct 6/Towson

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

Precinct 9/White Marsh

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

Precinct 11/Essex

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

Precinct 12/Dundalk

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

 

FOP Lodge #4 Election Results for Executive Board of Directors

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

Ken Schubert
710
Chris Hodnicki
699
Ryan Franks
696
Robert Graff
578
Justin Warnick
548
Pat Zito
533
Sekou Hinton
401

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A spokesperson for the EEOC declined to comment Wednesday.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Towson University Officer Amy Caprio Scholarship

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grand Jury Decides Not to Charge in Officer Involved Shooting

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

News article

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

McCain was not hurt in the July 3 incident.

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

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

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

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

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

Baltimore Sun reporter Colin Campbell contributed to this article.

smeehan@baltsun.com

twitter.com/sarahvmeehan

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

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

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

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

Judge Souder’s Court Order