Crossing the (Thin Blue) Line?
Posted by Buzz Beeler on 19th January 2017

June 28, 2014 4:41 am ET

Vetting of police applicants questioned in recent incidents

Source: Crossing the (Thin Blue) Line?

I spent a lot of years on the police force, so you know that I have a deep respect for the men and women in blue.

What I don’t have respect for, though, is men and women that don’t deserve to be in those uniforms, but are in them anyway. It’s shameful … and it’s happening in our area.

Case in point: the Baltimore County Police Department is under pressure from the Obama administration’s Justice Department regarding its hiring and promotion of minorities. To that end, the department has become embroiled in numerous scandals, which are now calling into question the BCPD’s background investigations.

The Sun wrote in detail about the issues facing the department back in August 2012. The following quote from the article indicates the serious nature of the issues facing the department:

“The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division in January wrote to county officials, asking for more information on the hiring of African-Americans in the police and fire departments. A spokesman for the federal agency declined to comment Wednesday on the status of the investigation.”

The question is now raised: is the county taking the necessary steps to avoid such headline-grabbing issues, which could endanger the public safety?

The most recent scandal is not the first, and there have been others that didn’t get into the headlines. And, unfortunately, this all appears to be happening due to the pressure that the department is under to hire and promote minorities.

This statement by Chief Johnson also appeared in the Sun (see video) regarding the arrest of Nicholas Ishmael, a 20-year-old cadet who was caught with an evidence bag containing $40,000. Ishmael worked at the police property room.

My question is, why you would put any cadet in an area as crucial as the property room—one of the most sensitive areas in the department because that’s where all the evidence is stored???

It boggles the mind, folks.

Another incident involves a North Point Officer who was fired after being involved in a crime. That officer was later seen on YouTube smoking what appeared to be illicit substances and showing off his MS13 gang tattoos.

So, just how did he even become a police officer? Who conducted that background check? (Whoever it was apparently had his/her eyes closed.)

As I have previously stated, there are no secrets in the police department. After being there for 39 years, I have developed a lot of close contacts. And, those contacts provided me with numerous calls regarding the next two issues I will describe.

I want to note that the information is based on speaking with numerous officers who have first-hand knowledge of the incidents. I sent an email to the department asking for confirmation, but—since there was no internal investigation conducted—the two incidents are considered “personnel matter” to which the department will not respond. Therefore, in the sake of fairness, I will not release the names of those involved since all information was gathered from police sources familiar with the issues and not released through proper channels.

Incident one involves a police academy recruit who was the class treasurer. The money collected is set aside for various things, such as a graduation party. When a certain amount turned up missing, the recruit involved had no relocation of the matter. A criminal Investigation was initiated, and—upon further prodding—the recruit said the money “may have been deposited” in the recruit’s personal bank account “by mistake.” In the end, the department chalked it up to a bookkeeping error, and the recruit was allowed to graduate.

Tell me which one of us would have been able to get away with that one in the “real world.”

In another more serious incident, a different recruit was found to be cheating on examinations. Termination was recommended, but the department told academy members to “work with” the recruit. The recruit was caught cheating again, but the same results were recommended—“work with him.”

In another incident, the recruit was attending a class at CCBC that was taught by a female instructor. The recruit brought food into the classroom, which is against the rules, and—after being written up by a member of the training academy staff—the recruit threatened the teacher to the point that she was scared to be in the same room with the recruit.

Fortunately, this recruit was not allowed to graduate, but why was he given a second and third chance?

What this illustrates is the pressure for the county police to hire and promote non-qualified minorities to meet the so-called federal standards under the Obama administration. This Sun article reports on the details.

Without proper vetting of these new hires, the public is put at risk—especially if the department does not take action when alerted to misconduct.

Sadly it’s more about the numbers as the horror stories continue unabated.

Let’s be clear. The issue is not about hiring minorities, but rather it is about the department’s response (or lack thereof) to allegations of misconduct.

The same goes for promotions. When you promote officers who do not meet the standards of leadership, there will be a heavy price to pay for such ineptitude.

Maybe the department should stop pacifying the Obama Justice Department and start looking after its citizens more carefully.

After all, Chief Johnson doesn’t need any more scandals, now does he?

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