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    #BCoPD Crash Team investigating Tuesday night crash in Overlea that left a pedestrian deceased. http://ow.ly/AxRfX ^JW


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    www.baltimorecountymd.gov
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    www.baltimorecountymd.gov
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    One session is offered at the Providence VFC in Towson; the second is offered at Pikesville VFC. Sign up now!

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  4. Investigators release information on vehicle in connection with the fatal hit an...

    Investigators release information on vehicle in connection with the fatal hit and run of a pedestrian in Dundalk August 9.

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    Police Investigating Fatal Hit and Run of a Pedestrian in Dundalk
    www.baltimorecountymd.gov
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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: officer

Officer Joseph HardenA 10-year BCoPD veteran was charged late Thursday with attempted robbery and other crimes following a drug-related incident in Dundalk earlier this week.

Officer First Class Joseph Stanley Harden, 31, of the 700 block of York Road, 21204, has been released on $100,000 bail.

BCoPD suspended him with pay (including suspension of his police powers) immediately after Tuesday’s incident in Dundalk. He was arrested in Towson yesterday morning. Thursday night, he was suspended without pay after charges were filed.

Harden also is charged with attempted burglary, destruction of property and possession of CDS (not marijuana).

July 29 Incident

At about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, officers responded to a 911 call from a man who reported a burglary in progress in the 8200 block of Boundary Road, 21222. Specifically, the caller said someone claiming to be a police officer was trying to kick in his door.

The responding officers found no one at the home but saw an open rear window and a displaced window screen. Officers entered the apartment and found baggies containing what appeared to be marijuana.

Meanwhile, officers on N. Boundary Road pulled over a gray Toyota sedan traveling at a high rate of speed. The driver was Joseph Harden, who was wearing a gray shirt and his BCoPD badge around his neck. Soon after speaking with Harden, officers realized that Harden matched the description of a suspect given by witnesses who said they saw a man leaving the Boundary Road apartment.

Subsequent investigation included the execution of various search and seizure warrants and interviews with the 911 caller, a self-described drug dealer. The investigation showed that for several months Harden has been an associate of Stephen Singh Gomez, 25, of the 500 block of 47th St., 21224 – also a dealer and one of the victim’s customers. (Gomez also has been charged in this case.) Harden has purchased Oxycodone from Gomez several times over the past few months.

Gomez told police that on July 29 he purchased Oxycodone for Harden from the victim at the Boundary Road apartment, but that within an hour Harden requested more pills. The two returned to Boundary Road, and Harden attempted to force entry into the victim’s apartment. The victim told police that he fled in fear through the rear window.

Harden was arrested at his home Thursday morning. He admitted to his role in the N. Boundary Road incident and told police investigators that he is addicted to Oxycodone.

Chief Jim Johnson said that he is “deeply troubled by this officer’s actions. This department does not tolerate criminal conduct among its members, and this officer will face due process for what he has done. Yet we cannot help but be saddened by another troubling case of prescription medication abuse. This problem is pervasive in our society, and unfortunately no institution is immune to it. We hope that this officer and everyone struggling with addiction seeks and receives treatment.”

Background

Harden most recently was assigned to Precinct 8/Parkville, where he has been on modified duty as a result of injuries sustained in a June 2013 police-involved shooting at the Colony Motel on Pulaski Highway.

Harden – assigned to Precinct 11/Essex at the time – was one of three officers who struggled with a man who attempted to run over a woman with a motor scooter outside the motel. The suspect engaged the officers in a violent physical fight and succeeded in defeating one of the restraining devices that held one of the officer’s guns in her holster. As that officer screamed for help, and as the suspect tried to rip her gun from the holster, Harden fatally shot the suspect with his service weapon.

Like all police-involved shootings, this incident was reviewed by the Homicide Unit, a BCoPD internal shooting review board and the Baltimore County State’s Attorney. All three investigations found the shooting justified.

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 have become aware of and are investigating a 2:24 video depicting an altercation between an officer and a male civilian in Towson.

Police have determined that the incident occurred at about 1:45 a.m. Sunday, February 23, when on-duty officers witnessed a disturbance among several members of a large crowd in the 400 block of York Road. Officers at the scene included Baltimore County Police, Baltimore County Auxiliary Police and Maryland State Police; it is unclear whether other agencies also were involved.

At least two people -- a male and a female -- were arrested and charged with resisting arrest, disturbing the peace, second-degree assault and  drug charges.

The video shows an officer confronting a male who is filming the arrests. The person filming the incident was not arrested and has not come forward to file a complaint. BCoPD has begun an investigation of this incident and would like to talk to the person who was filming so that a complete picture of what happened can be constructed. Recognizing that a video often represents only a small part of an incident, investigators want to know more about what happened before and after the events depicted on the video.

BCoPD recognizes and respects the right of citizens to film officers on duty, in a public place, unless the person filming has violated some law or statute.

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