Compliments and Complaints about BCoPD Personnel
The Baltimore County Police Department (BCoPD) values your input on the performance of BCoPD personnel. We encourage you to let us know when an officer or civilian member has provided exemplary service. Likewise, we want to know when you experience problems with our personnel.
While compliments and complaints can be filed with any member of BCoPD by mail, in person or by telephone, we encourage you to use the convenient electronic Compliment and Complaint form, to share your remarks.
Officer and Civilian Employee Compliments
Captain Lamont Martin
Internal Affairs Section
Compliments about services rendered by a particular officer, civilian employee, or section are important to us and to our personnel. Your comments will become part of the employee's personnel file and will be shared with the employee's commanders. Occasionally, complimentary comments are the basis for nominations for special service awards or other departmental recognition.
Police Misconduct Complaints
BCoPD's Internal Affairs Section (IAS) is responsible for investigating all allegations of misconduct by sworn officers, including allegations of excessive force, discourtesy and poor service. The Internal Affairs Section reports directly to the Chief of Police and operates independently of all other sections and divisions of the department. IAS takes every complaint seriously and is committed to a thorough and fair investigation.
The commander of the Internal Affairs Section is Captain Lamont Martin, a 21-year veteran of the department. Complaints filed through the electronic form are forwarded directly to IAS. All complaints against employees of BCoPD are investigated and handled confidentially.
Internal Affairs Section
700 East Joppa Road
Towson, Maryland 21286
Complaint Process Information
- Complaints should be filed as soon as possible after the incident. Delays in filing a complaint can seriously hamper an investigation since, as time passes, evidence may be lost, personal memory of the incident may diminish and witnesses may become hard to locate. Note that Maryland law requires that complaints about police brutality and excessive force be filed within 366 days of the incident unless the Internal Affairs commander determines the need for immediate investigation.
- Complaints are forwarded for investigation by IAS to the appropriate command. IAS monitors all investigations.
- If a crime has been alleged, BCoPD contacts the Baltimore County State's Attorney. The State's Attorney determines if criminal charges should be filed.
- The investigator assigned to your complaint will contact you. During investigation, statements will be taken from you, from witnesses and from the accused employee. All reasonable leads will be pursued. Investigations are confidential until finalized; no participant – including complainants, witnesses, investigators and employees – will disclose any information about the case until the investigation concludes.
- There is no time limit for completion of investigation of a complaint as the complexity of the case determines the amount of time to complete the investigation. All investigations are completed as soon as possible. Investigations of police officers are governed by Maryland law, and certain procedures must be followed. The investigator will update the complainant on the status of the case.
- The IAS commander issues final approval of completed cases. Complainants are notified by mail of the outcome of the case. Maryland law does not allow us to share specifics about how an employee is disciplined.
- Knowingly making a false statement or complaint about police personnel is a serious matter. Complainants who knowingly make false statements or complaints may be held responsible, criminally or civilly.
Filing a Complaint Anonymously
You can file a complaint anonymously. Be aware, however, that anonymous complaints often are difficult to investigate as investigators typically find a conflict between protecting the identity of a complainant, and reaching out to and gathering information from other sources.
Even if you choose to make an anonymous complaint, consider providing IAS with your contact information so you can be notified of the finding at the conclusion of the case.
The BCoPD's Internal Affairs Section has compiled information comparing citizen and administrative complaints during a five-year time period, from 2010 to 2014. There was an average of 115 citizen complaints per year compared to 97 administrative complaints.
The image to the right depicts the complaint comparison in bar graph format.
Type of Complaint
Administrative Discipline – Hearing Boards
The Baltimore County Police Department conducts a hearing board at the request of sworn members who dispute the outcome of the internal disciplinary process.
Sworn members receive some type of corrective action if an internal administrative investigation results in a finding that the sworn member has engaged in misconduct by intentionally violating the law or any Baltimore County Police Department policy or procedure. Corrective action includes counseling and re-training, a reprimand, loss of leave days, suspension, demotion or termination of employment. Internal discipline is separate from any punishment the sworn officer may face as a result of criminal charges. In cases where a sworn member faces criminal charges, the internal investigation likely will be conducted after the criminal charges are resolved.
A hearing board is a three-member panel appointed by the Chief of Police. It consists of a Captain or Major (who serves as a chairperson), a Lieutenant and a member of the department holding the same rank as the accused member.
The date, time, and location of hearing boards will be posted on this page 10 working days prior to the scheduled date of the hearing board. Maryland law allows the Chief of Police to close a hearing board to public view if there is “good cause, including to protect a confidential informant, an undercover officer, or child witness” (Section 3-107(e)(II) of the Maryland Public Safety Article).
Hearing Board Schedule
Information will be posted 10 days before a scheduled hearing board.
Date and Time: No hearing boards are scheduled at this moment.
Location: To be announced.
If you plan to attend a hearing board, please check this site the night before the scheduled hearing to confirm that the hearing is still scheduled. A hearing board will be canceled if the dispute is resolved before the scheduled hearing.