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Keyword: chief jim johnson

(January 28, 2016  1:45 p.m.)

Over the past five days, this county has experienced a historic winter storm and aftermath. Throughout this event, our communities witnessed the dedication of our Baltimore County Police Department members. Many officers, professional staff, dispatchers, call takers and other essential personnel worked long shifts – some outside in adverse weather conditions – to ensure the safety of our citizens. I appreciate your efforts and extend my thanks to each of you.

- Chief Jim Johnson

   

Pictures from the blizzard of 2016

More pictures are available on our Facebook page.

Police Chief Jim JohnsonBaltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson is at the White House this morning, meeting with other national law enforcement leaders and President Obama regarding the President's executive actions designed to reduce gun violence.

Johnson is the chairman of the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence; he also represents the Major Cities Chiefs Association.

The Partnership and Johnson long have supported measures designed to keep firearms out of the hands of those not legally entitled to possess them, including stronger background check processes, ensuring that those engaged in the firearms sales business follow the rules that apply to them and additional resources for agencies responsible for enforcing gun laws.

Details of the President's executive action are provided on the White House blog.

Speaking on behalf of the Partnership, Johnson said that the President's actions provide clarity on existing laws, prioritize enforcement of gun crimes, provide additional resources to the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and increase mental health treatment and reporting about people with mental health issues who are prohibited from gun possession.

"These are reasonable actions that will help protect our communities at a time of tremendous concern about gun violence and terrorism," Johnson said, adding that "none of these measures interfere with lawful gun ownership."

Text of announcement by National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence:

WASHINGTON — Leaders of the nation’s major national law enforcement leadership organizations today participated in a meeting with President Obama where he announced and discussed a series of concrete actions designed to reduce gun violence, including measures to keep firearms out of the hands of those who are not legally entitled to possess them.

 The National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence (the Partnership), comprised of national law enforcement leadership organizations, is pleased to see these vitally important actions move forward, which will enhance public safety and support law enforcement’s efforts to reduce gun violence. 

“These critical enforcement measures will strengthen existing background check processes, ensure that those who are engaged in the business of firearm sales follow the rules that gun dealers are required to follow, and provide law enforcement increased support by better resourcing the agencies charged with enforcing gun laws,” said Chief Jim Johnson of the Baltimore County (MD) Police Department, who represents the Major Cities Chiefs Association and serves as the Chairperson for the Partnership. 

Many of the steps announced by the President this week have long been a part of the Partnership’s policy agenda and are consistent with its statement of principles. “These very reasonable enforcement actions will better protect all of our communities at a time of heightened concerns about gun violence and about terrorism, following the San Bernardino incident,” said Johnson, who added, “It is vital that everyone understand how critical these measures are to the safety of our communities, and that none of these measures adversely impact lawful gun ownership.” 

 “The President’s actions to provide clarity on existing gun laws, prioritize enforcement of gun crimes, strengthen the NICS system by addressing the gap in mental health and other disqualifying records, and his allocation of greater resources to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for NICS system improvements and to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for additional agents and investigators will all make our communities safer,” said Johnson. 

The Partnership has long stressed the vital role that ATF plays in enforcing gun laws and reducing gun violence, and has urged that ATF be better resourced to carry out its vital mission as the only federal law enforcement entity with reducing gun violence as its primary mission.  The Partnership has also been calling for the nomination of a permanent director to lead ATF. 

The Partnership’s policy priority has been the use of and requirement for background checks prior to all firearm sales.  “Background checks have already blocked more than 2.4 million prohibited purchases since the Brady Law went into effect in 1994. “Today’s actions will go a long way, but we will continue to press for universal background checks and are grateful for the President’s support,” said Johnson. 

The National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence (www.lepartnership.org) is an alliance of the nation’s law enforcement leadership organizations concerned about the unacceptable level of gun violence in the United States. The Partnership is working to address the pervasive nature of gun violence and its horrific impact on community and officer safety. 

 

Update (May 15):

Baltimore County Police have released the 911 calls in reference to the incident at WMAR TV on May 13.

Call 1     Call 2     Call 3     Call 4     Call 5     Call 6     Call 7     Call 8     Call 9     Call 10

Update (May 14 2:49 p.m.):

As a result of a bail review today, Vladimir Mehul Baptiste is now being held without bail at the Baltimore County Detention Center.

Update (May 14):

Baltimore County Police have charged 28-year-old Vladimir Mehul Baptiste of the 1700 block of White Oak Road 21234 in connection with the incident at WMAR TV on Tuesday.

Among the charges that Vladimir Mehul Baptiste faces are three counts of attempted second degree murder. He is being held at the Baltimore County Detention Center on $750,000 bail.

Original release (May 13):

A male suspect is in police custody after he drove a stolen truck into the ABC2 News studio around noon today and barricaded himself inside the news station.

The barricade ended around 4:35 p.m., when members of the BCoPD's Tactical Team entered the area of the building where the suspect was located and took him into custody. The suspect has not been identified pending criminal charges and has been taken to a local hospital for an emergency evaluation. Police Chief Jim Johnson said that the suspect displayed obvious signs of mental illness, including incoherent language and rants.

No injuries to officers or ABC2 employees were reported.

The incident began  shortly before noon, when Baltimore County 911 received a call for a disturbance at ABC2 News, located in the 6400 block of York Road in Precinct 6/Towson. The caller said a man was banging on the door and yelling. Within minutes, 911 received a second call reporting that someone had just rammed a large truck into the lobby of the building.

First-arriving officers did not find the suspect in the truck, and employees said they believed he was inside the station. Police evacuated station employees (one employee sheltered in place for the duration of the incident) and initiated a barricade deployment.

Tactical officers were able to determine that the suspect was on the second floor and that he was watching the situation unfold on news broadcasts. A late afternoon news briefing was delayed, Chief Johnson explained, because of concerns that officers' safety could be compromised if the suspect learned details of the operation from the television coverage.

The suspect did not leave the ABC2 building at any point during the barricade, and officers were inside the building within minutes. There was no danger to the community beyond ABC 2.

The stolen truck belonged to a Maryland State Highway Administration subcontractor and was taken just before the barricade from a location at I-695 and York Road. The vehicle was unattended when it was taken. Police found assorted working tools in the truck, including machete sheaths. No machetes were found, nor were any firearms located. There is no indication that firearms were involved at all in this incident.

Chief Johnson explained at the briefing that officers assumed the suspect to be armed, based on the fact that he had acted violently and the presence of items such as the sheaths.

County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and Chief Johnson praised ABC2 and the St. Pius X School, located next door to the TV station, and on lockdown during the incident for their professionalism, bravery and cooperation during this difficult situation.

They also thanked the agencies that assisted with this incident, including Baltimore City Police, Maryland State Police and the SHA.

Booking photo of Vladimir Mehul Baptiste

Front entrance of WMAR TV


 
 

Revised April 6, 2016