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  1. More on the stabbing in 8400 block of Loch Raven Boulevard: Baltimore County Po...

    More on the stabbing in 8400 block of Loch Raven Boulevard: Baltimore County Police are investigating a stabbing in the Loch Raven area.

    On July 25 at 8:55 p.m., Baltimore County Police were dispatched to the 8400-block of Loch Raven Blvd., 21234 for a stabbing. Police investigation revealed that an unknown male suspect stabbed the victim and fled in an unknown direction from the scene. The motive for the crime is unknown at this time.

    The unidentified male victim has been transported to an area hospital for treatment. His condition is unknown at this time.

    Anyone with information about this crime is being asked to call the Baltimore County Police Department at (410) 307-2020.
    2014-07-26T15:24:20+01:00http://www.facebook.com/BaltimoreCountyPoliceandFire/posts/828919713784828
  2. Police continue to search at Pretty Boy Dam for the missing man. No additional i...

    Police continue to search at Pretty Boy Dam for the missing man. No additional information at this time. ^RM
    2014-07-26T15:06:45+01:00http://www.facebook.com/BaltimoreCountyPoliceandFire/posts/828912887118844
  3. Police investigating stabbing of male in the 8400 block of Loch Raven Blvd. Vict...

    Police investigating stabbing of male in the 8400 block of Loch Raven Blvd. Victim taken to hospital in serious condition. No further. ^RM
    2014-07-26T02:34:41+01:00http://www.facebook.com/BaltimoreCountyPoliceandFire/posts/828687000474766
  4. Investigating incident w/ male subject falling from the Pretty Boy Dam. Search t...

    Investigating incident w/ male subject falling from the Pretty Boy Dam. Search to continue in the morning. No further info. ^RM
    2014-07-26T02:28:30+01:00http://www.facebook.com/BaltimoreCountyPoliceandFire/posts/828685243808275

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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: police

UPDATE: Kayla Kellam has been located by detectives.  Please cancel all lookouts.  Thank you for your assistance. 

Baltimore County Police are asking for the public's help locating Kayla Kellam, 15, of the 1000 block of Leeds Avenue, 21229.  She was last seen at approximately midnight this morning by family members and may be in emotional distress.  

Kayla Kellam is a black female, 15 years old, 5'5", 125 pounds, with brown eyes and honey blonde hair. She was last seen wearing a gray camisole, gray sweatpants, and silver Nike shoes.  

There is no known direction of travel and she has never been reported missing before. 

Detectives are asking anyone with information to call the Baltimore County Police Department at 410-307-2020.

Photo of Nicholas Michael Ishmael, a BCoPD civilian employee charged with theft from evidence room. Baltimore County Police have arrested and charged a BCoPD civilian employee with stealing drugs and money from the BCoPD evidence room at the Public Safety Building in Towson.

Nicholas Michael Ishmael, 20, of the 7900 block of Westmoreland Avenue, 21234, was arrested yesterday at BCoPD headquarters and has been charged with 10 counts, including conspiracy to commit theft from $10,000 to $100,000; theft from $10,000 to $100,000; possession of narcotics; and possession with intent to distribute narcotics. Ishmael, a cadet, was released today from the Baltimore County Detention Center, where he had been held on $650,000 bail.

Baltimore County Police Chief James Johnson said at a press briefing this afternoon that he ordered an audit of all 182,400 pieces of evidence in the evidence room as soon as he learned that the evidence room may have been compromised. He also ordered a review of all policies and procedures pertaining to the evidence room.

Over the past few weeks, officers – Executive Corps commanders, Internal Affairs officers, Criminal Investigation Division officers, Narcotics detectives and others – have spent thousands of hours, sometimes working around the clock, on the evidence room case.

At this point, Chief Johnson said, the investigation shows that the theft of items from the evidence room is the work of one individual – Nicholas Ishmael. Ishmael was served with termination papers today.

“This is a serious internal issue,” Chief Johnson said. “To say that I am deeply troubled by this serious breach is an understatement. Our citizens depend on this agency to solve crimes and make sure that criminals are successfully prosecuted, and I want them to know that we have devoted and will continue to devote all possible resources to investigating this situation.

Also, Chief Johnson said he is “disappointed that the conduct of one employee could reflect badly on this agency and the 2,500 BCoPD officers and civilians who work with integrity every single day.”

The Investigation and Audit

BCoPD became aware of a problem in its evidence room in early April, when a Homicide Unit detective tried to retrieve drug evidence for a case that was being tried in Circuit Court. When the drugs could not be found, the Chief’s office was notified, and Chief Johnson immediately ordered an internal investigation and comprehensive audit. The audit is supervised by Colonel Joseph Burris. The internal investigation remains ongoing.

The internal investigation led detectives to Ishmael. At that point, the Narcotics Section joined Internal Affairs in a weeks-long criminal investigation that included surveillance of the evidence room and of Ishmael and two family members. Two of Ishmael’s cousins also face drug charges.

The ongoing criminal investigation shows that Ishmael stole cocaine, morphine, Oxycodone and Alprazolam with a street value estimated in the tens of thousands of dollars. Detectives also found $40,000 in cash, stolen Tuesday and in Ishmael’s possession when he was arrested. The evidence was stolen from 15 narcotics cases, including one homicide case. (The homicide is the November 25, 2012 shooting of Alsawab Sawab in Towson.)

There may be additional charges against Ishmael.

Police do not believe that other cadets or officers were involved with Ishmael in the thefts, nor is there any indication of any technological or procedural failures in the evidence room. “We are confident that responsibility for this breach rests with one civilian employee,” Chief Johnson said.

BCoPD’s exhaustive audit began shortly after the first theft was discovered and has involved thousands of hours of investigation. Just in the past 24 hours, officers have examined 8,000 cases. All but four of those cases – which involve $450 in cash unaccounted for – have been reconciled. There is no evidence at this time that Ishmael is involved in those cases, but the investigation continues.

An additional 19,000 cases still must be audited.

About BCoPD Evidence Management

The Evidence Management Unit is responsible for the safekeeping, proper storage, records management and disposal of all property and evidence delivered to the Unit.

Staffing of the unit includes a lieutenant, a sergeant, a corporal, three officers and three cadets.

The evidence on hand includes 182,400 items, including 21,700 pieces of drug evidence, 4,500 guns and 2,750 money cases. All evidence is tracked through an electronic bar code system, a system that was instrumental in helping detectives link Ishmael to the thefts.

A quality control team conducts random, unannounced sampling audits. In addition, evidence room supervisors conduct unannounced monthly audits throughout the year. Based on the fact that these audits did not reveal any problems, as well as the fact that hundreds of cases are pulled each week for court use or disposal, police do not believe that Ishmael’s stealing began in August, when he was assigned to the evidence room.

About the Cadet Program

Cadets are civilian employees, ages 18 to 21. They often (but not always) use the position as a path toward a career in policing. Chief Johnson began his career as a cadet.

BCoPD currently employs about 40 cadets, assigned to entry-level tasks throughout the agency. They are subject to the same background checks as sworn officers, as well initial and random drug testing and a polygraph and a psychological examination. Ishmael’s background check was “uneventful,” Chief Johnson said.

Cadets have been employed in the evidence room for decades. Chief Johnson said this is the first case involving a cadet stealing evidence from the BCoPD evidence room.

Cadets assigned to the evidence room are responsible for retrieving evidence from what essentially is a large warehouse for officers and detectives when they need it; the cadets also return evidence to its proper place in the evidence room when detectives and officers return it.

Nonetheless, Chief Johnson said that all evidence room procedures, policies and equipment will be closely reviewed as a result of the Ishmael case.

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.”

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