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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: chief

This is the text of Police Chief Jim Johnson's Police Memorial Day message delivered this morning at the annual Police Memorial Ceremony at Patriot Plaza in Towson.

******

Good morning, everyone. Today we gather, as we do each year on the second Friday in May, to remember the nine members of the Baltimore County Police Department family who have given their lives in service to others.

Their names are inscribed on our hearts and in our memories, just as they are on the monument before us. This is a time to recollect who these men were as people – their smiles … their unique personalities … their attributes as husbands, fathers, sons and friends.

Mostly, of course, this is a time to reflect on their sacrifice and of the selflessness of others like them, including the two NYPD officers murdered last December by a man who began his path of violence here in our county. They were targeted simply because they were policemen. In ordinary times, we focus on the honor of such sacrifice – on the awe-inspiring wonder of human beings brave and generous enough to die for others.

But these are not ordinary times. We find ourselves caught up in a storm of controversy over the role of law enforcement in 21st century society. The fires of discontent that blazed last summer in a Midwestern town have spread to our own doorstep. Baltimore – the city to which we are tethered by history and geography and our own personal experiences – now is the epicenter of a furious national debate about police and our relationships with the communities we serve. Over the past two weeks, you have been part of these historic events. You have gone above and beyond to protect lives and property while enforcing the rule of law – all while surrounded by distraught and angry voices questioning the integrity of law enforcement officers everywhere.

This is not the place to dissect and debate the complex issues woven into the national conversation on policing. It is, however, the place to confront the emotions and doubts that current events may have stirred.

It is the right time to ask: Does our work still matter? Is our profession still respected? Does the sacrifice of our own fallen officers still matter to our citizens? Would our sacrifice matter?

Each of us took this job because we believed in something bigger than ourselves – because we believed that a safe and orderly society is worth fighting for. Do we still believe it?

Despite the complicated relationship between law enforcement and the public, we have been fortunate to enjoy the people’s good will for a long time, and especially in the years following the 9/11 attacks. Even recently, polls measuring the most and least respected professions consistently show police officers among the “top 10” respected jobs. People are so interested in the work we do that they stop us in grocery stores and restaurants to talk about it. Today, this ceremony will be broadcast through the media with a tone of reverence and respect.

Perhaps we have grown accustomed to such regard, perhaps a bit too much. The oath we swear is not conditional.

We agree to serve and protect regardless of which way the winds of public opinion blow. We serve, not for tokens of esteem, but because cruelty and selfishness exist in the world and must be fought. We serve because lawlessness leads inevitably to the breakdown of civilization.

More than this, we swear to serve all – not just those who hold us in esteem, but all. I know how hard this is. It is easy to work on behalf of those who admire us, whose values mirror our own. But we are called to protect all, including those who do not admire us, including those whose values do not mirror our own. We are required to treat all with respect; all – including those who do not respect the law, or us.

Despite the noise and negativity of the past weeks and months, I am confident that the overwhelming majority of our citizens appreciate the work we do and trust us to do the right thing. You have worked hard to earn that trust, and we hear expressions of gratitude week in and week out. Today, people across Baltimore County watch us laying wreaths and agree with all their hearts that the officers we remember were heroes.

Edward Kuznar … Charles Huckeba … Samuel Snyder … Robert Zimmerman … Bruce Prothero … John Stem … Mark Parry … Michael Howe … and Jason Schneider. Their sacrifice still matters.

From wherever they are, they remind us that ours is a just and noble cause, worth fighting for and, yes, worth dying for. I hope that this admonition sustains us through the difficult days ahead.

A number of high-ranking Baltimore County Police Department commanders will be reassigned following the promotion of eight lieutenants to captain. The reassignments, announced today by Police Chief Jim Johnson, become effective February 9, immediately following a Promotional Ceremony scheduled for February 9, 2 p.m., at Oregon Ridge Lodge.

The new assignments will produce the most diverse BCoPD Executive Corps -- commanders who hold the rank of captain, major or colonel -- in the department's history.

County Executive Kevin Kamenetz has made creation of a government workforce that reflects the makeup of the citizenry a top priority. "This goal is especially important in public safety, where the public's respect and trust is critical to our ability to serve our citizens well," Kamenetz said. "These latest Police Department promotions are another step toward the healthy diversity we need."

New Captains

The new captains are:

  • Donna M. Benton. Benton will be the second woman in BCoPD's history to oversee the Special Operations Section, including the Aviation, K-9, Marine and Tactical units.
  • Scott A. Canter. Canter will oversee the Homeland Security Section.
  • Joseph D. Conger. Conger will command the Technology and Communications Section.
  • David J. Folderauer. Folderauer will be assigned to command Precinct 3/Franklin.
  • Christopher M. Kelly. Kelly will be assigned to command Precinct 9/White Marsh.
  • Orlando D. Lilly. Lilly will be assigned to command Precinct 12/North Point.
  • Lamont Martin. Martin will oversee the Internal Affairs Section.
  • Robert O. McCullough. McCullough will oversee the Employment Section.

Captain James Monahan, currently commander of Precinct 3/Franklin, will take over the Operational Support Section. Captain Michael Balog, currently commander of Precinct 9/White Marsh, will be assigned to the Operations Bureau. Captain Jan Brown, currently commander of Precinct 12/North Point, will be assigned to the Youth and Community Resources Section.

"Achieving the rank of captain is a significant milestone that requires hundreds of hours of study and sacrifice," said Chief Johnson. "These experienced men and women have earned the privilege of serving in positions of great responsibility. I'm proud of what they've achieved and I look forward to working with this new team."

With the promotions of these captains as well as new corporals, sergeants, and lieutenants, BCoPD continues its long-term goal of diversifying both the rank and file and top-level command. The 33 sworn members of the Executive Corps will include five minorities and three women.

Chief Johnson said that this latest reorganization was accomplished with succession planning in mind. "We are creating a department that is positioned to lead and to thrive now and in the future."

Image of Chief Johnson from the Baltimore County Police Department.Police Chief Jim Johnson is one of nine “Gun Violence Champions of Change” – chosen from across the nation – who will be honored by the White House Thursday, April 3, in ceremonies at The White House. The Champions of Change award presentation is scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon.

The event will be live streamed at 10 a.m. on April 3 at www.whitehouse.gov/live.

Additional information about the Champions of Change program is available at www.whitehouse.gov/champions.

"Chief Jim Johnson is truly one of the finest and most effective law enforcement professionals ever to wear the badge," said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. "I congratulate him on this most prestigious honor and am very glad that he calls Baltimore County home."

White House Announcement

Here is the text of the White House’s announcement:

WASHINGTON – On Thursday, April 3, the White House will honor 9 grassroots leaders taking critical steps in their communities to reduce gun violence. Although a minority of the Senate voted down common-sense legislation, the Administration is continuing to take key steps to reduce gun violence by implementing more than 23 executive actions and elevating successful local efforts. This week, the Administration will highlight the critical work some of these local leaders have spearheaded to make their neighborhoods safer and to keep firearms out of the wrong hands.

In his State of the Union Address, President Obama declared, “Citizenship means standing up for the lives that gun violence steals from us each day. I have seen the courage of parents, students, pastors, and police officers all over this country who say ‘we are not afraid,’ and I intend to keep trying, with or without Congress, to help stop more tragedies from visiting innocent Americans in our movie theaters, shopping malls, or schools like Sandy Hook.”

The White House created the Champions of Change program to feature individuals doing extraordinary things to empower, inspire and support members of their communities …

  • James Johnson, Chief of Police, Baltimore County; Chair, National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence

Baltimore, MD

Baltimore County, MD, Police Chief Jim Johnson began his career with the Baltimore County Police Department in 1979 as a Cadet in the 911 Center and served in every sworn rank in the Department before being named Chief of Police in June 2007. Chief Johnson holds memberships in several professional organizations, including the Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA). He is MCCA’s representative to and Chairs the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence (the Partnership), a coalition of nine national law enforcement leadership organizations.

Chief Johnson works daily in his own jurisdiction to reduce incidents of gun violence and make his community safer. A highly respected leader in his state and at the national level, Chief Johnson is an active voice for law enforcement on the policies and practices that will help reduce gun violence. A gun owner and hunter, Chief Johnson has been an effective advocate for sensible policies that protect the rights of law abiding gun owners while keeping guns out of dangerous hands and excessive firepower off our streets. In 2013 Chief Johnson testified before Congress in support of expanding background checks to all purchasers, and was instrumental in changing Maryland’s law prohibiting assault weapons and limiting high-capacity ammunition magazines. He holds a Masters Degree in Applied Behavioral Science from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Baltimore. ...

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