Letter reveals cracks in Baltimore County’s “Thin Blue Line’
Posted by Buzz Beeler on 9th April 2018

The Baltimore Post received a letter from a source within the Baltimore County Police Department regarding some serious issues. The letter questions the department’s ability to function as a law enforcement agency whose duty it is to protect the citizens of the county in which they serve.

The Post will paraphrase the letter to give insight into the source’s information.

As always, the Post verified the authenticity of the letter and its content. The Baltimore Post has always tried to combine social news with mainstream media. Sometimes in order to accomplish that, sources must be protected against retaliatory actions taken by county officials.

The Post covered those retaliatory actions in detail, writing about the county’s purge of police officers, paramedics, firefighters, and other employees that were impacted by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Subsequent actions by the county’s administration cost the taxpayers, to date, in excess of $40 million from lawsuits filed by members of the department who were forced through intimidation and threats to retire.

Despite the large amount of taxpayer funds spent by the Kamenetz administration to defend its actions, the county continued its course of violating the ADA. As a result, more money is being lost by the county executive’s decision to appeal these fruitless cases.

The letter we received is not disparaging; rather, it is a cry for help to help the public understand exactly what is going on inside the BCPD.

Here is a particular quote of interest from the letter:

I believe that its important to read the February 2018 Forward form the BCOPD FOP Lodge 4 in which our union leadership spells out some fairly inept leadership from our police administration.

Things get worse from there.

The author describes the backbone of the department, the patrol division, whose front-line officers respond everyday to calls for service that include violent crime, patrolling our schools, and policing our neighborhoods.  These are the men and women who respond to every 911 call.

The author claims that 20 of these officers will be taken from the patrol division in order to be used as school resource officers, or SROs. We understand that school safety is a primary concern for every parent in Baltimore County, but reassigning these officers will cause much broader problems. If the administration continues to deplete the number of front-line officers as described in the letter, then the entire community will be jeopardized, including the schools.

The author says the department’s morale is at an all-time low due to the interference of the Kamenetz administration.

The author also says that more than 100 cops were pulled to mobile projects for body cams. In addition to the shortage of patrol officers, the author writes about the inordinate amount of time spent on administrative duties, which include hours of additional paperwork and other unnecessary tasks, that take away from the officers’ time spent on the street. This impacts the response time to 911 calls.

The author also mentions other officers being drafted into non-patrol units that are meant to bolster the particular unit commander’s image within the department. That commander appears to be vying for a promotion within the political atmosphere that has engulfed the entire BCPD.

Another particularly disturbing incident involved the Korryn Gaines shooting, during which the commander created an atmosphere that caused many of the seasoned officers to transfer due to continued harassment by the commander.

Maybe that is why, as sources have told us, BCPD streamlined the background investigation process, devoting only half the time the department normally used to screen applicants.

This decision can set a dangerous precedent, as we have seen in other jurisdictions that followed such guidelines. A classic example would be the Baltimore City PD, which has experienced a rash of corruption cases among its officers.

In addition to the above number of officers (120) who were pulled from patrol duties, the writer describes other factors that reduce number of officers available for patrol duty. The author claims that that on a daily basis almost 10% of patrol units are inactive due to these dangerous policies.

The letter also went into depth about internal corruption at the highest levels. One particular case involved a commander who, when asked by communities to send extra patrols to deal with crime issues, would suggest hiring a private security company. The problem with that issue was that same commander owned the security company and was, according to the letter, “selling his badge for profit.”

In one of the final comments, the writer makes the following observation:

Of course these two commanders will not be punished, and nothing will happen. It is corruption, and the rank and file are acutely aware of it. Of course we all know of the commanders who are on the ‘do not testify list’ because of credibility issues. Commanders have been moved due to affairs with their subordinates in their offices. There are sexual harassment accusations and other types of discrimination as well. The list goes on and on. These are just two of the most recent cases that are new, and I believe the public has a right to know.

The Baltimore Post has known for a long time that there is a cancer within the BCPD. However, until someone inside the agency steps forward and reveals the truth, the department will continued to be negatively impacted.

And that crack in the thin blue line will exact a heavy toll on the citizens of Baltimore County, many of whom may pay the ultimate price.

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