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:

http://www.mdcourts.gov/opinions/coa/2015/84a14.pdf

FOP President Canterbury’s Statement on Violence Against Police

FOP: A WEEKEND OF HATE IN REVIEW

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.

Employment Opportunity – Chief of Police Bel Air

The Town of Bel Air, Maryland, is accepting applications for the position of Chief of Police. This is the highest law enforcement position in the Town of Bel Air. The Chief of Police serves under the direct supervision of the Town Administrator and exercises command and operational control of the Bel Air Police Department. The Chief of Police is responsible for enforcing all laws of the municipality and the State of Maryland.

The approximate population of Bel Air is 10,500; with an operating budget of $3.5M for the police department. The police chief is responsible for a total of 31 sworn and 18 civilian personnel.

The position requires strong leadership skills, extensive knowledge of modern police administration and an ability to innovate programs. At a minimum, candidates must have a Bachelor’s Degree in criminal justice, business or a related field of study. A minimum of at least 10 years-experience is also required with at least 4 years in a position of management or supervisory responsibility. Supervisory experience should include the oversight of at least 15 sworn officers and support staff in a recognized law enforcement agency. Advanced education beyond a Bachelor’s Degree is desired.

Interested candidates may apply online on or before 4:00 PM, July 6, 2015. EOE.

Click HERE to apply online.

Employment Opportunity: Maryland Judiciary Special Police Officer

Job listing

 

 

Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

Below is a link to the report.

Final Report

Injured Baltimore County Officer and Family in Need of Assistance

On May 12, 2015 PFC James Morrison, a 16 year veteran of our agency and a 19 year member of the Maryland Army National Guard, was involved in a serious motorcycle accident which has left him paralyzed from the chest down.

Jim will be undergoing a period of extensive rehabilitation, and he and his family will be facing a series of financial challenges for his care, transportation, and housing modifications.

If you are interested in reading more of Jim’s story and are willing and able to contribute, an online donation www.crowdrise.com/supportforjimmorrison, has been established to raise funds for him and his family.

Employment Opportunity

Health Enforcement Officer

$25 per hour

Temporary positions to last 3-6 months

2-5 days/evenings per week

The Health Enforcement Officers report to the Drumcastle Government Center.  Using County vehicles, the Officers will travel to pick up Tobacco Compliance Assistants at designated Police Precincts or schools; transport the Assistants to tobacco retailers to conduct tobacco compliance buys; write citations for civil violations as appropriate; explain Youth Access Laws to retailers; attend and testify at court hearings; and maintain records of enforcement activities.  Must have valid driver’s license with clean driving record and ability to successfully pass a background investigation.

For more detailed information and to apply contact:

Vicki Pfannenstein at 410-887-3828 or vpfannenstein@baltimorecountymd.gov

Baltimore County Health DepartmentDrumcastle Government Center

6401 York Rd. Towson, MD 21212

Donations to Baltimore City Fraternal Order Of Police Lodge #3

Dear Members and Supporters,
The messages of support and encouragement for the officers involved in the situation in Baltimore have been overwhelming. We are extremely grateful and humbled. Along with that support are the many, many people who wish to donate monetarily to support these officers during what appears to be lengthy judicial process. Please know that those donations are very appropriate as these officers will be suffering a loss or reduction of pay and benefits until such time as they are rightfully acquitted.

As often happens during times such as this, there are those who choose to prey on the kindness of others by falsely offering their own methods of donation collection, only to reap the benefit of that generosity for themselves.
As a result, Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge #3 is asking the public to be very wary of anyone or any group requesting donations. We are strongly advising that any donations be made to the following organizations as these are the only two with which we are currently associated.
1. Baltimore City FOP, Lodge #3 : By Mail: 3920 Buena Vista Avenue Baltimore, MD 21211 or through a link we have established on our website

FBI Public Service Announcement – Hacktivists Threaten to Target Law Enforcement Personnel

Law enforcement personnel and public officials may be at an increased risk of cyber attacks. These attacks can be precipitated by someone scanning networks or opening infected emails containing malicious attachments or links.

alert

Maryland’s Law Enforcement Bill of Rights is based on basic Constitutional Principles

Over the past several months there has been much discussion about police misconduct, transparency and accountability of officers. This has been magnified by recent national and local events.

There have been outcries from some citizens and politicians blaming Maryland’s Law Enforcement Bill of Rights (LEOBR) as the cause for these recent events. There has recently been a particular focus in the media and by Baltimore City’s Mayor on statements and interviews of officers after an incident. There have been reports and statements that officers cannot be interviewed about an incident because the LEOBR mandates that an agency cannot interview an officer for ten (10) days. Therefore, investigators cannot get the information needed to complete an investigation. This is simply inaccurate.

There are two separate and distinct investigations involved in situations such as these, a criminal investigation and an administrative investigation. At times they may be parallel but sometimes they conflict and as always, the criminal investigation must take priority.

In a criminal investigation officers have the same rights under the United States Constitution as any other citizen. Just because they are police officers does not mean they lose constitutional rights under the fifth and fourteenth amendments that are afforded to all citizens. They have the same absolute right to remain silent and the right to an attorney for representation and advice. A question often asked to police chiefs is “Why don’t you just order the officer to answer questions or provide a statement?” The answer is that one can order an officer to answer questions and provide a statement. The result would be that none of those responses, no matter how compelling, can be used in court because those statements would be inadmissible under the United States Supreme Court decision Garrity v. New Jersey 1967. Not Maryland’s Law Enforcement Bill of Rights.

In Maryland, administrative interviews or interrogations of law enforcement officers “for a reason that may lead to disciplinary action, demotion or dismissal” are governed by Public Safety Article 3-104 of the LEOBR. Specifically, 3-104J refers to an officer’s right to representation. An officer “has the right to be represented by counsel or another responsible representative” available for consultation during an interrogation as stated in the United States Supreme Court decision National Labor Relations Board v Weingarten 1975.

An officer may waive that right at any time and begin to answer questions immediately.

If the officer decides to consult with “counsel or another responsible representative” he or she has 10 days to have that representative available and present for an interrogation.

If the officer does not have representation available within the 10 days, the officer forfeits the right to representation and can be compelled to answer all questions. The ten (10) days is a deadline for the officer, not the agency.

Maryland Court of Appeals Grants Baltimore County’s Petition for Writ of Certiorarii

The Maryland Court of Appeals has granted the County’s petition in the retiree health care subsidy case. The case will be heard in the fall of 2015.

Granted April 17, 2015
Baltimore County, Maryland v. Baltimore County Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge No. 4 – Case No. 25, September Term, 2015

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?

Link to Court of Appeals

Employment Opportunity – Part time investigator

We are looking for a part-time investigator in the Baltimore area.

The qualifications required for this position, are as follows:  Minimum of 5-years law enforcement investigation skills; excellent interview and interrogation skills; report writing skills.

This position, will be approximately 25 hours per week and may require travel and overnight stays.

The position pays $25.00 per hour / $30.00 per day for meal accommodation (with overnight stays) / hotel expense (if required) / $0.35 per mile.

Most of the cases will be handled within the Baltimore area and will not require overnight hotel stays.

If you can pass the word onto fellow lodge members, this would be a great position for someone that has retired.

If you have any questions or possible candidates, please have them contact me at (727) 902-5974.

I look forward to hearing from you,

Thank you Jeff Hogan!

Police Cameras Bring Problems of Their Own

Police Cameras Bring Problems of Their Own
Authorities face mountains of video data that require processing and costly storage
By
Zusha Elinson and Dan Frosch
April 9, 2015 4:53 p.m. ET Wall Street Journal

As more police agencies equip officers with body cameras in response to public pressure, authorities are discovering they create problems of their own: how to analyze, process and store the mountains of video each camera generates.
Prosecutors in northern Colorado recently spent hours poring over a dozen videos captured by police wearing cameras. The case? An arrest for drunk and disorderly conduct.

Clifford Riedel, Larimer County’s district attorney, said his office has been overwhelmed with footage from the 60 body cameras the Fort Collins Police Department uses, and will need to hire an additional technician to sort through it all. “There are just huge amounts of data being generated from cameras,” said Mr. Riedel. “It used to be that video on a case was the exception. Now it’s the rule.”

The movement gained new intensity after the police shooting last week of a fleeing man in South Carolina. While many experts inside and outside of law enforcement agree that body cameras—clipped to officers’ uniforms or glasses—help increase police transparency and may even improve police behavior, police departments and prosecutors are struggling with how to sift through, preserve and share the visual evidence.

On top of that, agencies need policies and personnel to respond to requests from journalists and the public to release video under freedom-of-information requests.

“The vast majority of places are still trying to figure this out,” said Michael White, a professor of criminology at Arizona State University who wrote a Justice Department report on body cameras.

Dr. White estimates that between 4,000 and 6,000 U.S. police departments, out of about 18,000 nationally, use body cameras. Officers generally turn them on when stopping a driver or responding to an incident.

Some departments use body cameras in addition to dashboard ones that have become common at many agencies, but result in less-useful footage because much police action takes place away from their vehicles. Body cameras—which cost hundreds of dollars each—typically result in much more video for departments to handle.

The push to require body cameras intensified nationally after last August’s shooting of Michael Brown, a black 18-year-old, by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo. This week, after a bystander’s cellphone video surfaced showing a white South Carolina policeman fatally shooting an unarmed black man in his back, several prominent state lawmakers voice support for a bill to require all officers to wear cameras.

But the cost has given some officials pause, said Lindsay Miller, senior research associate at the Police Executive Research Forum and co-author of a Justice Department report on the topic. “The cameras themselves aren’t overly expensive, but the years and years of data storage you’re going to deal with—that can definitely be cost-prohibitive,” said Ms. Miller.

Many departments keep inconsequential video for 30 to 60 days. But if the footage is evidence in a criminal case, it must be kept longer; most states require that video in a homicide case be kept indefinitely, she said. Ms. Miller said an emerging consensus is that the benefits outweigh the costs. In limited studies, the cameras have shown promise in reducing use of force by police and citizen complaints—and that can save money spent investigating complaints and settling lawsuits, she said.

In Oakland, Calif., the police department deploys 560 body cameras, enough for nearly every officer on duty, said Sean Whent, the chief of police. Their use results in about five to six terabytes of data every month—equivalent to about 1,250 to 1,500 high-definition movie downloads—said Mr. Whent. That data is stored on a department server for two years at a minimum—or longer if it is needed in a criminal or disciplinary case, he said.

In the future, Mr. Whent said he anticipates either using a cloud-storage service or reducing the retention period because of the sheer size of the data.

“It’s absolutely worth the cost—the public today demands a greater amount of accountability and transparency on the part of police,” he said. “The cameras have a civilizing effect on the police and the people who know they’re being recorded.”

In Berkeley, Calif., officials are weighing whether to outfit officers with cameras. Police estimate it could cost up to $135,000 to buy 150 cameras at $900 a pop. But it could cost an additional $45,000 a year for a limited data-storage plan priced at $25 a month per camera—and officials have raised the possibility of also hiring new employees to sift through all the video.

The cameras “will create an enormous amount of data. Who gets access to it? How does it get stored?” said Laurie Capitelli, a Berkeley City Council member. “What appeared to be a no-brainer in terms of bringing accountability to the force has raised a lot ancillary questions.”

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has pledged to purchase 7,000 cameras. The cost of data storage and maintenance is estimated at $7 million a year, a spokeswoman said. The city plans to include money for the program in its coming budget and seeks federal funds as well. The department already purchased about 800 cameras with money raised by private donors.

Seattle police wrestled with how to release footage from body cameras to the public—a dilemma highlighted by a public-records request for videos last year. The department decided to launch a YouTube channel that shows heavily blurred-out video with no audio to protect the privacy of people and officers.

Getting the videos on YouTube is a mostly manual process, but the department is working to automate it. Seattle police are also working on tools to redact sensitive information from audio files, which could be added to the YouTube files.

“Where do people put videos if they capture police behaving inappropriately? They put it on YouTube, so we put our videos on YouTube,” said Mike Wagers, the department’s chief operating officer. “That was a middle ground.”