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 of 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|
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. The5-year time period shows a steady increase. The average number of calls for service was 610,415.
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. Every year since 2015 has been under the average. 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 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 2,201 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 1.5 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)
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.
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 then from citizens
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.