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Keyword: police

Full Deployment is On Time and Within Budget

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced today that the County has successfully completed its aggressive schedule of equipping all uniformed police officers with body-worn cameras.

“Our police and information technology professionals implemented this important transparency initiative in a thorough and expedited manner,” said Kamenetz. “I appreciate the concerted efforts of our many partners including the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge Number 4, State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger and Sheriff R. Jay Fisher. We received valuable input from many stakeholders including the NAACP, ACLU, National Alliance on Mental Illness, and representatives from the Latino community and other community groups.”

In the fall of 2015, Kamenetz and Police Department leaders decided to move forward with deploying the cameras, despite recommendations of a workgroup to wait and continue studying the complex legal and operational issues related to the cameras, data storage and privacy. “Waiting wasn’t a good option because these cameras are such a valuable tool in strengthening the relationship of trust and understanding with the community. By objectively capturing the actions of officers in the field, they improve transparency and help reduce complaints against officers and facilitate more efficient, effective prosecutions,” Kamenetz said.

In October of 2016, County Executive Kamenetz acted to accelerate the full implementation of the body camera program by fourteen months by increasing overtime funds to triple the rate of officer training. 

“The body-worn camera program has already proven helpful in a number of arrests and prosecutions, and as we move forward we are committed to adapting our program as best practices and new issues may evolve,” said Police Chief Terrence B. Sheridan.

“Body cameras are a valuable law enforcement tool that helps to protect officers and the public alike, and I think that County Executive Kamenetz was wise to move forward quickly with equipping our officers,” said County Council Chairman Tom Quirk.  

Program Costs

The first five years of the program will cost $7.1 million. That includes $1.25 million for the cameras and related equipment and $5.9 million for maintenance and storage. The annual cost of running the BWC program is estimated at $1.6 million, including ongoing officer training and the cost of hiring at least 21 additional full-time personnel in several departments to manage the program.

Video Storage and Access

Since the Body Worn Camera program was initiated in 2015, the County has processed more than 250,000 recordings including 45,000 hours of video and has transferred more than 79,000 files to the States Attorney’s Office (67,000 videos and 11,800 photographs).   

Storage and maintenance of massive amounts of video, and responding to public information requests are challenges requiring dedicated human resources support. Baltimore County’s implementation program included the hiring of additional IT support staff, evidence specialists, criminal records processors, forensic specialists, attorneys, training personnel and public information specialists.

Public Information Laws

Body camera video is treated the same as any other public record, subject to release under the Maryland Public Information Act and other relevant laws. Video footage of incidents also assists in resolving investigations by insurance companies, attorneys, the Motor Vehicle Administration and others through the Maryland Public Information Act.

The program includes public outreach to ensure that citizens are aware that these videos are public records, and that citizens as well as police will be portrayed.

Michael L. Schneider, Community Outreach Liaison
Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks

The role of a Police Officer includes many responsibilities, extensive training and a huge capacity for learning.  But who knew in Baltimore County that being a pal is among the police officer’s roles?  Well, it’s not being a pal, as much as being with PAL, the Baltimore County Police Athletic League.

The officers actively associated with any of the nine PAL Centers throughout Baltimore County take on an important role in creating and maintaining strong and meaningful relationships with the PAL members, who range from eight to 17 years old. 

officers cheering kids on track

This summer’s highlight was the PAL Olympics. Baltimore County Police Officers, Police Cadets, Police Explorers and numerous Fire Department members were thoroughly involved in the fun and competitive event. It was truly inspiring to see the interaction between our PAL members and these incredible public servants! You could see and feel the mutual respect and appreciation growing on the track, in the gymnasium and in the lunchroom. The Police and PAL dodge ball game was the epitome of demonstrating good sportsmanship and growing friendships.

Following are some day-to-day examples of the efforts of dedicated officers who have made working with these youngsters-in-need a regular part of their routines:

Officer Randy Stradling comes to Scotts Branch PAL to engage members both socially and athletically according to the PAL Coordinator Joan Ingram.  “He is well known to our members,” Ms. Ingram shared, mentioning that the kids look forward to his bringing the occasional boxes of Popsicles to the center to share.

Over at the Dundalk PAL, Officer George Mussini is a regular visitor making himself available to the youngsters as a resource for assisting PAL members. Just for the fun of it, he’s been known to ticket PAL members for good behavior and positive choices with coupons for free Slurpees from the local 7/11 in cooperation with Operation Chill.

At Woodmoor PAL, Officer Thelia Jones and Officer Dreama Morgan focus on mentoring PAL kids with the goal of boosting their self-esteem.  Officer Morgan even helps to serve the daily meals offered at the PAL Center. 

At the Hillendale PAL Center, Officer Greg Suber has been offering his skills as a mentor and assisting in the area of conflict resolution among the middle schoolers and their families, not to mention his Ping Pong skills! 

By playing and interacting on a social level, PAL Coordinators and officers take on important roles to help youngsters navigate through the issues of growing up.  They teach crime prevention techniques, discuss current events involving law enforcement and, most impressively, one Police Officer was instrumental in getting a PAL member back into school. 

We at Baltimore County Recreation and Parks are proud and appreciative of the incredible lengths our partners in caring, the Baltimore County Police Department, offer all the youngsters in our PAL program.  It is a partnership that offers us all a proud future!

Show highlights police body cameras, public works, and Holidays at Hampton

The latest edition of Baltimore County’s half-hour cable television public affairs show, “Hello Baltimore County,” focuses on the Police Department's body cameras program, Department of Public Works operations and holiday events at the Hampton National Historic Site in Towson.

Body Cameras – Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger offers his perspective as the County’s head prosecutor.

ICYMI – In case you missed it, we review some recent headlines from your County government.

In the Trenches Every Day – Public Works Director Steve Walsh shares some surprising stats on the work DPW does to keep our daily lives on track.

Holidays at Hampton – Find out what the Hampton National Historic Site has in store to ring in the Yuletide season.

To view streaming video of the show, go to the Hello Baltimore County page at . Click on the menu icon in the upper left of the video screen to select an individual segment.

In addition to online access, the program runs several times per week on Cable Channel 25, in Baltimore County, at the following times:

Mondays: 1:30 p.m., 6 p.m., 10 p.m.

Tuesdays: 12 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 9 p.m.

Wednesdays: 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 10 p.m.

Thursdays: 1 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 8 p.m.

Fridays: 11 a.m., 6 p.m.

Saturdays: 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m., 10:30 p.m.

Sundays: 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m., 10:30 p.m.

Revised September 11, 2017