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    2 patients transported -- one flyout, one by ground -- in porch collapse, 413 Oella Ave. DT 453 p.m.; patients extricated 514 p.m. ^EA
    2014-07-29T22:38:20+01:00http://www.facebook.com/BaltimoreCountyPoliceandFire/posts/830978923578907
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    Shellenberger Issues Statement Regarding Art Modell Grave Site
    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

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.

Baltimore County Police have charged Officer Timothy Kennedy, a 27-year veteran of the agency, with one count of failing to secure a firearm to prevent access by a minor.

On October 11, Officer Kennedy's 11-year-old son was able to obtain his father's service weapon after he set it down on an armoire in his bedroom when he arrived home from work. His son discharged the weapon, and the bullet struck the door. There were no injuries from this incident. Officer Kennedy's wife reported the incident to the department the following day and a criminal investigation was started.

The case was referred to the State's Attorney's Office for review. Detectives applied for a criminal summons on October 25.

Chief Emphasizes Gun Safety Priority

"This Department has spent much time and effort advocating for gun owners to handle their weapons safely and responsibly, especially when it comes to keeping guns out of the hands of children," said Police Chief James Johnson. "We do not hesitate to enforce gun safety laws, and, as this unfortunate case shows, that includes cases involving our own officers."

Police Powers Suspended

Officer Kennedy's police powers were suspended when the department was notified of this incident. He will remain suspended pending the results of the criminal case. Per policy, the internal investigation will be completed at the conclusion of the criminal process.

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