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  1. The Baltimore County Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in ide...

    The Baltimore County Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the suspect in a March 2 theft at the J.C. Penney store in Eastpoint Mall.

    Anyone with information is asked to call police at 410-307-2020.

    The full release is available on our news blog: http://ow.ly/KYqV7



    2015-03-30T14:08:25+01:00https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=959468507396614
  2. #BCoPD investigating Sunday shooting in Owings Mills. http://ow.ly/KYppC ^JW

    #BCoPD investigating Sunday shooting in Owings Mills. http://ow.ly/KYppC ^JW
    2015-03-30T13:56:55+01:00http://www.facebook.com/BaltimoreCountyPoliceandFire/posts/959465930730205
  3. More information on the shooting early Sunday morning in Halethorpe is now avail...

    More information on the shooting early Sunday morning in Halethorpe is now available on our news blog.

    Anyone with information is asked to call police at 410-307-2020 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP.

    News blog: http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/PoliceNews/iWatch/ShootinginHalethorpeLeavesOneManDeceasedAndAnotherManInjured
    2015-03-29T17:20:44+01:00http://www.facebook.com/BaltimoreCountyPoliceandFire/posts/959091357434329
  4. Halethorpe homicide cont'd. Second man found shot taken to local hospital, non-l...

    Halethorpe homicide cont'd. Second man found shot taken to local hospital, non-life threatening gunshot wounds.^SV
    2015-03-29T13:32:09+01:00http://www.facebook.com/BaltimoreCountyPoliceandFire/posts/958999080776890

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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: york road

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.”

At 1:52 p.m., Baltimore County Police and Fire personnel responded to the 10500 Block of York Road in Cockeysville for a report of a gas leak. 

Construction workers had broken a gas line while working in the area. There have been no reports of injuries at this time. 

Because of the gas leak, the traffic pattern on York Road between Warren Road and Railroad Avenue is being altered. Both north-bound and south-bound traffic on York Road will run in the south-bound lanes in this area. North-bound lanes will be closed. 

This altered traffic pattern is expected to cause a significant backup. Motorists are encouraged to find an alternate route around the area. 

BG&E crews are on the scene but have no estimated time in which repairs will be made.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson today said that the investigation of a February 23 incident in Towson, captured on a citizen’s video, will examine the actions of a citizen auxiliary police officer as well as of BCoPD officers.

“The words of and demands to cease filming by sworn personnel and citizen volunteer auxiliary officers were incorrect, inappropriate and unnecessary,” Chief Johnson said this morning. “They were not helpful in bringing this incident to closure. As we already have stated, all aspects of this encounter are under investigation, and all personnel will be held accountable for their actions.”

The auxiliary sergeant – seen in the video confronting the young man recording the incident and telling him he “lost” his rights – has been restricted to administrative volunteer duties pending the outcome of the investigation.  His name is being withheld pending the outcome of the investigation. He has been a member of the Auxiliary for 22 years.

 BCoPD also will review the actions of BCoPD supervisors involved in the incident depicted in the video of the incident in the 400 block of York Road at about 1:45 a.m. Sunday, when officers from several agencies worked to control a disturbance.

Johnson, who reviewed the video multiple times, said the language used by officers in the video and the statements about the citizen’s lack of constitution rights are simply wrong.  “This Department enjoys a good  relationship with its citizens largely because of its longstanding commitment to treating people with respect for their rights. Our personnel will be held accountable if they fail to do that,” he said.

The person filming the video, who was not arrested, has not filed a complaint and has not approached BCoPD. Investigators are trying to identify and contact him because they believe his story will help them build a complete picture of what happened.

The question of whether citizens may record video of police officers was settled by the Maryland courts several years ago. Since that ruling, BCoPD has directed its personnel to respect the legal right of citizens to record officers on duty, in a public place, unless the person filming has violated a law or statute. BCoPD’s command staff reminded sworn supervisors of this legal right this morning.

About the Auxiliary Police

About 80 trained citizens volunteer as auxiliary police officers, providing support to BCoPD with regard to patrol, calls for service, crowd and traffic control, community events and details.

Citizen auxiliary members attend about 115 hours of training provided by BCoPD and modeled after – though less comprehensive than – the training for BCoPD officers. This training is commensurate with the level of responsibility and authority delegated to these volunteers.

Over the past six years, citizens volunteering as auxiliary members have donated more than 100,000 hours of service to the County.  “These ordinary citizens provide a tremendous service to us, at no cost,” Johnson said. “They have played an important role in our efforts to reduce crime in Baltimore County, and have been an invaluable resource for us in handling everything from precinct office work to traffic control.”

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