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  1. Baltimore County Fire, working fire profile at 302 George Ave, Essex. Units on s...

    Baltimore County Fire, working fire profile at 302 George Ave, Essex. Units on scene with fire showing. Avoid the area ^PM
    2014-11-23T16:19:36+00:00http://www.facebook.com/BaltimoreCountyPoliceandFire/posts/891661237510675
  2. Searching for missing man. Jerome Barry Lowenstein, 66, 5'08",146lbs, brown hair...

    Searching for missing man. Jerome Barry Lowenstein, 66, 5'08",146lbs, brown hair & eyes. Clothing unknown. Last seen in Catonsville. NFI ^RM
    2014-11-23T04:04:21+00:00http://www.facebook.com/BaltimoreCountyPoliceandFire/posts/891422390867893
  3. The Baltimore County Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in loc...

    The Baltimore County Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in locating a 26-year-old man missing from the Towson area.

    Antoine Deon Arrington is a black male, 5’11”, 178 pounds, with brown eyes and black braided hair. He has no fixed address and it is unknown what he might be wearing.

    The full release is available on our news blog: http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/PoliceNews/iWatch/PoliceSearchingforManMissingSinceOctober23


    2014-11-21T18:15:14+00:00http://www.facebook.com/BaltimoreCountyPoliceandFire/photos/a.597717780238357.1073741828.583947594948709/890636967613102/?type=1
  4. One person taken to an area hospital for evaluation after report of a person wit...

    One person taken to an area hospital for evaluation after report of a person with a gun at CCBC Essex. http://ow.ly/EG7OQ ^JW
    2014-11-21T17:50:11+00:00http://www.facebook.com/BaltimoreCountyPoliceandFire/posts/890626847614114

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Police and Fire News

Baltimore County Police and Fire News

Official News Blog of Baltimore County police, fire, homeland security and emergency management. Call 911 to report crimes in progress and emergencies.
Keyword: auxiliary

Following a months-long internal investigation of the actions of a volunteer auxiliary police officer in Towson, Police Chief Jim Johnson has decided that this auxiliary officer will not return to patrol duties.

The auxiliary officer, Matthew S. Betz, 44, who has volunteered for BCoPD for 22 years, will be allowed to continue to perform administrative work for the department. (Johnson restricted him to administrative duties immediately after the February 23 incident.) His arrest powers have been suspended, meaning he cannot work in the field as an auxiliary officer.

The investigation by the Internal Affairs Division involved a crowd disturbance in the 400 block of York Road at about 1:45 a.m. in which two women were arrested on charges of resisting arrest, disturbing the peace, second-degree assault and drug charges. The auxiliary officer was assisting on-duty BCoPD officers when he became involved with a college student who was filming the incident.

The internal investigation found that the auxiliary officer behaved inappropriately. “The language he used was incorrect, unnecessary and not helpful in bringing the incident to closure,” Chief Johnson said.

About the Auxiliary Program

BCoPD’s Auxiliary Police Officer program, established by the Baltimore County Code, currently includes 88 trained volunteers. The Code specifies the qualifications, conditions of service and scope of duties for auxiliary officers.

Volunteer auxiliary officers must complete about 115 hours of training in order to be certified by the Police Chief to assist BCoPD officers. They do not carry firearms. Under the Code, all certified auxiliary officers have extremely limited powers of arrest.

Chief Johnson will require enhanced re-training of all existing volunteer auxiliary officers that exceeds the training they currently receive yearly.

“These volunteers make a huge commitment to this department and to this County. They contribute thousands of dollars worth of manpower each year – an asset we value and want to preserve,” Chief Johnson said. “At the same time, this recent incident highlighted the need to make sure volunteer auxiliary members are thoroughly trained and properly assigned, both for their own safety and for the good of our citizens.”

Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson today said that the investigation of a February 23 incident in Towson, captured on a citizen’s video, will examine the actions of a citizen auxiliary police officer as well as of BCoPD officers.

“The words of and demands to cease filming by sworn personnel and citizen volunteer auxiliary officers were incorrect, inappropriate and unnecessary,” Chief Johnson said this morning. “They were not helpful in bringing this incident to closure. As we already have stated, all aspects of this encounter are under investigation, and all personnel will be held accountable for their actions.”

The auxiliary sergeant – seen in the video confronting the young man recording the incident and telling him he “lost” his rights – has been restricted to administrative volunteer duties pending the outcome of the investigation.  His name is being withheld pending the outcome of the investigation. He has been a member of the Auxiliary for 22 years.

 BCoPD also will review the actions of BCoPD supervisors involved in the incident depicted in the video of the incident in the 400 block of York Road at about 1:45 a.m. Sunday, when officers from several agencies worked to control a disturbance.

Johnson, who reviewed the video multiple times, said the language used by officers in the video and the statements about the citizen’s lack of constitution rights are simply wrong.  “This Department enjoys a good  relationship with its citizens largely because of its longstanding commitment to treating people with respect for their rights. Our personnel will be held accountable if they fail to do that,” he said.

The person filming the video, who was not arrested, has not filed a complaint and has not approached BCoPD. Investigators are trying to identify and contact him because they believe his story will help them build a complete picture of what happened.

The question of whether citizens may record video of police officers was settled by the Maryland courts several years ago. Since that ruling, BCoPD has directed its personnel to respect the legal right of citizens to record officers on duty, in a public place, unless the person filming has violated a law or statute. BCoPD’s command staff reminded sworn supervisors of this legal right this morning.

About the Auxiliary Police

About 80 trained citizens volunteer as auxiliary police officers, providing support to BCoPD with regard to patrol, calls for service, crowd and traffic control, community events and details.

Citizen auxiliary members attend about 115 hours of training provided by BCoPD and modeled after – though less comprehensive than – the training for BCoPD officers. This training is commensurate with the level of responsibility and authority delegated to these volunteers.

Over the past six years, citizens volunteering as auxiliary members have donated more than 100,000 hours of service to the County.  “These ordinary citizens provide a tremendous service to us, at no cost,” Johnson said. “They have played an important role in our efforts to reduce crime in Baltimore County, and have been an invaluable resource for us in handling everything from precinct office work to traffic control.”

The Baltimore County 47th Auxiliary Police Class will graduate on Thursday, October 24, at 7 p.m. The event will take place at the Public Safety Building, 700 East Joppa Road, Towson. The swearing in will take place in the 6th floor cafeteria.

The 17 new officers are volunteers and take on various responsibilities that assist sworn officers in their everyday duties. The Auxiliary was established in 1942 as a volunteer organization and is authorized to cooperate with the Police Department in the maintenance of law and order in Baltimore County. The officers perform a number of duties such as security, and crowd and traffic control at public events. They also provide aid during floods, snowstorms, and searches for missing persons. This list is only a fraction of the many responsibilities they take on as Baltimore County Auxiliary Officers.

The 47th Auxiliary Recruit Class graduates are:

  • Auxiliary Officer Costin Blair is assigned to Precinct 11/Essex and Precinct 12/North Point.
  • Auxiliary Officer Brian Bowman is assigned to Precinct 6/Towson and Precinct 7/Cockeysville.
  • Auxiliary Officer Lauren Brown is assigned to Precinct 1/Wilkens and Precinct 2/Woodlawn.
  • Auxiliary Officer Emmanual Espinal is assigned to Precinct 11/Essex and Precinct 12/North Point.
  • Auxiliary Officer Charles Fields is assigned to Precinct 11/Essex and Precinct 12/North Point.
  • Auxiliary Officer KY Harral is assigned to Precinct 1/Wilkens and Precinct 2/Woodlawn.
  • Auxiliary Officer Rick James is assigned to Precinct 8/Parkville and Precinct 9/White Marsh.
  • Auxiliary Officer Brendan Kelley is assigned to Precinct 6/Towson and Precinct 7/Cockeysville.
  • Auxiliary Officer Matthew Knight is assigned to Precinct 8/Parkville and Precinct 9/White Marsh.
  • Auxiliary Officer Antonio Lema is assigned to Precinct 11/Essex and Precinct 12/North Point.
  • Auxiliary Officer John Longendorf is assigned to Precinct 8/Parkville and Precinct 9/White Marsh.
  • Auxiliary Officer Clifford Nikstaitis is assigned to Precinct 11/Essex and Precinct 12/North Point.
  • Auxiliary Officer David Racosky is assigned to Precinct 3/Franklin and Precinct 4/Pikesville.
  • Auxiliary Officer Mary Ann Ryan is assigned to Precinct 11/Essex and Precinct 12/North Point.
  • Auxiliary Officer Scott Spangler is assigned to Precinct 8/Parkville and Precinct 9/White Marsh.
  • Auxiliary Officer Mark Wilson is assigned to Precinct 3/Franklin and Precinct 4/Pikesville.
  • Auxiliary Officer David Zalusky is assigned to Precinct 6/Towson and Precinct 7/Cockeysville.
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