Death Notification: Joseph Comegna

August 14, 1965 – November 12, 2018

On November 12, 2018, Joseph Horace Comegna, Baltimore County Police Officer, beloved husband of Shannon M. (nee Kiebler) Comegna; devoted father of Meaghan, Kyle and Ryan, Pop-Pop to Brennen and Owen. Beloved son of the late Horace “BUD” Comegna (BPD Retired) and Barbara Comegna; dear son in law of Jean Kiebler. Joe is also survived by his brothers Steven and Victor, his nieces and nephews, many friends and colleagues and his black lab Bella.

Relatives and friends are invited to call at the Schimunek Funeral Home, Inc., 9705 Belair Rd, Nottingham, MD 21236 on Thursday from 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 pm. Funeral services are private. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to St. Ursula School 8900 Harford Rd., Parkville, MD 21234 and or Archbishop Curley High School, 3701 Sinclair Lane, Baltimore, MD 21213.

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

Employment Opportunity- MSP Maryland Gun Center

https://www.jobapscloud.com/MD/sup/bulpreview.asp?R1=18&R2=002586&R3=0042

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

University Police Officer II

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) University Police Department has an opening for a University Police Officer II.  Specific duties include:  enforce local, state, and federal laws; patrol academic and residential areas on foot, bicycle, and Segway; provide safety escorts; prepare reports and conduct investigations; traffic enforcement; testify in court and; perform other duties as assigned. The ability to work overtime and shift work is required.

This position requires a High School Diploma or equivalent (some college preferred). Successful completion of a MPTC Minimum Standard Entrance Level Police Course, current police commission as a Maryland police officer and valid Maryland Non-commercial Class C or equivalent driver’s license are required. NOTE:  This position requires a background check. 

Pay Range 12 (starting at $43,685) based on the University System of Maryland Pay Program.  This is a full-time position and includes full university benefits.

Apply by May 4, 2018 at:

http://listings.umbc.edu/cw/en-us/job/492656?lApplicationSubSourceID=11289

Read Arbitrator Jaffe’s Arbitration award for the FY19 Memorandum of Understanding

Interest arbitration award

Baltimore County FOP Lodge #4’s Final Proposal Adopted by Arbitrator

On March 16, 2018 the Baltimore County Administration and FOP Lodge #4 participated in an interest arbitration hearing for the July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019 Memorandum of Understanding. On March 31, 2018 Arbitrator Jaffe issued an award in favor of the last, best and final offer of the FOP. Those items are listed below.

FOP LODGE #4 FY 19 LAST, BEST AND FINAL OFFER 

Section 6.1 Wages
(A) Effective January 1, 2019, the pay schedule IV salary scale shall be increased by three (3%) percent.

(B) Steps and longevities shall be guaranteed for fiscal year 2019.

(C) For fiscal year 2019 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, pension and insurance, members of the bargaining unit shall receive the same amount of increase on the same effective 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 by the County for each such improvement.

Section 6.8: Shift Differential
(A) All employees who are scheduled to work shifts 3 & 4 shall receive a shift differential of 3.15% of the hourly rate of a maximum police officer first class for those hours actually worked during said shift. Effective January 1, 2019, all employees who are scheduled to work shifts 3 & 4 shall receive a shift differential of 3.5% of the hourly rate of a maximum police officer first class for those hours actually worked during said shift.

(B) All employees who are scheduled to work shift 1 shall receive a shift differential of 4.0 of the hourly rate of a maximum police officer first class for those hours actually worked during said shift. Effective January 1, 2019, all employees who are scheduled to work shift 1 shall receive a shift differential of 4.5% of the hourly rate of a maximum police officer first class for those hours actually worked during said shift.

(C) Overtime shall be based on the hourly rate for the shift worked previously to the overtime.

Section 6.11:  Holiday Pay
(A)
Employees working on the following holidays 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, 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, President’s Day and Columbus Day shall be granted leave for that day, without a change to their leave schedules.

(C) Employees who were scheduled not to report to work, as directed in paragraph (B) of this section and called in to work under Section 6.4 will still be granted leave (marked “P”) that entire day without a change to their leave balances. Additionally, those members shall be paid at time and one half their hourly-rates for a minimum of four (4) hours or the actual number of hours worked, whichever is greater.  

Section 6.12 Field Training Officers Effective July 1, 2009, the differential shall be two dollars and fifty cents per hour. Effective January 1, 2019, the shift differential shall be five dollars per ($5.00) hour.

Section 10.7: Pension Modifications
(f) Effective January 1, 2019 all pay schedule IV employees hired prior to July 1, 2014 will contribute 9.50% of their salary toward their pension.

Section 17.1: Furloughs and Layoffs– Bargaining unit members shall not be furloughed or laid off (i.e., “riffed”) in fiscal year 2019

ARTICLE 18: DURATION AND SCOPE OF MEMORANDUM

Section 18.3: Duration
This Memorandum of Understanding shall become effective July 1, 2018 and shall continue in full force and effect until June 30, 2019. This Memorandum of Understanding shall be automatically renewed from year to year after June 30, 2019 unless:

(A) Either party shall notify the other in writing no later than October 15, 2018 (or October 15thof any subsequent year thereafter in case of an automatic renewal) that it desires to terminate, modify or amend this Memorandum of Understanding, or

(B) The County Council fails to approve the necessary appropriations to support the fiscal obligations of the County under this Memorandum of Understanding for any year covered by this Memorandum of

 

Employment Opportunity

My name is Lee Lachman, I’m a retired Deputy Chief of Police and now a Group Supervisor for Facilities Security at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. We are adding a new position to our Department and would like to advertise it to local active and retired police officers. We are taking over the responsibility for providing protective/driving services for the APL Director and pairing that with a need for an investigator and training coordinator for the Security Force. It’s a pretty unique opportunity. I’m including a link for the job posting and the online application process. Anyone interested who has questions is free to call me at 240-592-0973. Any assistance you can offer with posting this or emailing it to your email group would be greatly appreciated.

https://tas-jhuapl.taleo.net/careersection/2/jobdetail.ftl?job=16910&tz=GMT-05%3A00

Sincerely,

 

Lee C. Lachman

Group Supervisor for Facilities Security

Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

11100 Johns Hopkins Road

Laurel, Maryland 20723

 

240-592-0973 (Office)

A Snapshot of Policing in Baltimore County 2013-2017

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
2013 817,455 580,416   692 27,982   318 124
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
3,052,078 3,201 128,740 1,383 421

 

County Population
The county population has steadily grown since 2013. 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 2013 – 2017 was 3,052,077. The 5-year time period shows a steady increase. The average number of calls for service was 610,415.

Arrests
In Baltimore County between 2013 and 2017 there were a total of 128,740 arrests made.  That equates to an average of 25,748 arrests per year in a county where the population has grown to 831,000.  The number of arrests has consistently trended downward since 2013 (15.7%) while the population has steadily grown. In 2013 Baltimore County officers arrested someone on every 20.75 call for service. In 2017 officers arrested someone on every 30.0 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 1,383 times.  From 2013-2017 there has been a 34% 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  00.0453% of all calls for service and 1.07% in all arrests.

Internal Affairs statistics show that officers were involved in combat shootings 30 times during the same time period averaging about 6 per year.  This equates to the use of a firearm in 00.00098% of all calls for service and in 00.023% of all arrests.

Assaults on Officers
During the 5-year time period officers reported being assaulted 3,201 times averaging 640.2 assaults per year. (There has been 1 line of duty death) While assaults on officers have been trending downward (16%), the numbers show that officers in Baltimore County are 2.3 times more likely to be assaulted by a citizen than use force against a citizen. (Note: Use of force by officers is down 34% during the same time period)

Citizen Complaints
According to the Internal Affairs Section in the Baltimore County Police Department there were 421 complaints from citizens about officer misconduct, including uses of force.  That equates to an average of 84 per year and has also been steadily trending downward (58%). Over the entire time period there was an average of 1 citizen complaint for every 7,249 calls for service. The best year was 2017 with 1 citizen complaint for every 13,646 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 427 complaints initiated from within the department from 2013-2017.  That equates to an average of 85 per year and 50% of all Internal Affairs investigations. There were actually 6 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.

 

President Weston testifies against HB453 in front of House Judiciary Committee

Please look at the testimony by President Weston at the House Judiciary Committee on HB453 requiring officers working uniformed secondary employment to wear body cameras. The bill is cross filed with SB209.

The House bill is sponsored by Del. West and the Senate bill is being sponsored by Senator Brochin.

President Weston testifies at 31:31 into the video after Del. West and Baltimore County State’s Attorney Shellenberger who are at the beginning of the video.

The Maryland State FOP and Baltimore County FOP Lodge #4 are  opposing both of these bills for the reasons put forth by President Weston.

Video

 

University of Baltimore Police Officer II

The University of Baltimore is recruiting for a University Police Officer II ((Lateral Only – MPSTC Certified).  Please share our attached vacancy announcement.  It can also be viewed at http://www.ubalt.edu/about-ub/offices-and-services/human-resources/jobs-at-ub.cfm?&posting=1279.

Thank You,

Patrice Mason

Recruitment Leader, Human Resources, University of Baltimore      410.837.5498      mail:  1420 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD   21201    office location:  1030 North Charles Street, 3rd Floor