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Invites input from community, police officers and key stakeholders

County Executive Johnny Olszewski announced today that the County has initiated a national search for a new Police Chief to succeed Chief Terrence B. Sheridan, and that he anticipates having a new chief in place no later than June 2019. Chief Sheridan will continue in his current role while the search is conducted, and has announced that he plans to retire in June.

“Chief Sheridan has set the bar high for his successor, and we are confident that our thorough search process will identify a chief who possesses the qualities our communities want to see in the next leader of Baltimore County’s law enforcement efforts," Olszewski said.

The County will conduct the search process, and is not contracting with any search firms or police associations for assistance. Internal and external candidates to Baltimore County Police Department (BCoPD) are encouraged to apply.

Multiple Opportunities Available for Feedback from Community Stakeholders

There will be several opportunities for community members and stakeholders to provide input into the selection process. There will be two Public Safety Community Forums held in early 2019, and residents may submit written comments via email to policechiefsearch@baltimorecountymd.gov. Police officers and advocates will also have multiple opportunities to participate in the selection process.

Details of the process, including the composition of the interview panel, are included in the process summary below:

Baltimore County Police Chief Search Process

Summary:

The Administration of County Executive John Olszewski is conducting a national search for a new chief to lead the Baltimore County Police Department (BCoPD). The chief will succeed Chief Terrence Sheridan, who will remain in his current capacity while the search is conducted. The Olszewski Administration anticipates having a new chief in place by no later than June 2019.

The job posting is publicly available on Baltimore County’s jobs website –    http://agency.governmentjobs.com/baltimorecounty/default.cfm – and numerous other web-based job search sites. The deadline for applications is January 15, 2019.

The job posting is also available on national law enforcement organization websites, including the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Police Executive Research Forum, and the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers.

The County is conducting its own search process, and is not contracting with any search firms or police associations to assist in the search. Internal and external candidates to BCoPD are encouraged to apply.

There will be several opportunities for County residents to provide input into the process. County Executive Olszewski is seeking input on what qualities and characteristics County residents would like to see in a police chief.

There are two ways for residents to provide input: 1) At two Public Safety Community Forums in early 2019, one in Northeast Baltimore County and one in Northwest Baltimore County, and 2) Through written comment submitted via email to policechiefsearch@baltimorecountymd.gov. The exact dates of the Public Safety Community Forums will be posted online in early January.

The Administration is also seeking input from the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #4, the Blue Guardians, the Baltimore County Association of Women Police, and rank and file police officers. County Executive Olszewski will separately meet with leadership from the various police officer associations to gather their input into the Chief selection process.

County Executive Olszewski will also conduct police officer town hall meetings to solicit input from BCoPD commanders and officers.

Olszewski Administration representatives will screen all applications and select 5 to 10 candidates to be interviewed by an 8-member interview panel. The interview panel will interview the selected candidates and advise the County Executive on the strength of each candidate. The confidentiality of all applicants will be maintained throughout the process.

The interview panel will consist of the following members:

  1. Two (2) members of the County Executive’s Senior Staff
  2. Baltimore County State’s Attorney or designee
  3. Three (3) Baltimore County resident representatives
  4. Representative of a victim services agency that serves victims in Baltimore County
  5. Representative of the Baltimore County Council

The names of the panelists will be publicly announced in January. The panel will confer with and advise the County Executive on the strength of each candidate. The County Executive will select and interview a number of finalists based on the panel’s feedback.

The nominee will be subject to a comprehensive background investigation and vetting process.

Timeline:

The following timeline is preliminary and subject to change.

December 2018:

  • Post Job Description; begin accepting applications.

January 2019:

  • Application period closes January 15.
  • Applications screened for candidates to be interviewed.
  • County Executive meets with police associations to solicit input.
  • Interview panel is formed and members are announced.

February 2019:

  • Public Safety Community Forums are conducted.
  • Panel interviews scheduled and completed.
  • Police officer town halls are conducted.
  • Panel meets with County Executive to provide feedback on interviewed candidates.

March 2019:

  • County Executive interviews finalists.
  • Finalist is submitted for background investigation and vetting.
  • Finalist is submitted to County Council for confirmation.
  • Confirmation process begins.

April 2019:

  • Confirmation process continues and concludes by end of month.

May 2019 – June 2019:

  • BCoPD leadership transition process begins.
  • New chief is sworn in.

Mobile Crisis Team Will be Available 24/7

Baltimore County Executive Don Mohler announced plans to significantly expand the County’s emergency mental health system by funding overnight hours for the Mobile Crisis Team that responds to individuals experiencing a mental health crisis, including those addicted to opioids.

The Baltimore County Crisis Response System, a collaborative effort between the County’s Health and Police Departments, works with The Affiliated Sante’ Group, Inc. to provide emergency mental health services to Baltimore County residents. The Mobile Crisis Team is currently available from 9:30 a.m. until 1 a.m. daily. The increased funding of $561,000, contingent on County Council approval, will bring the Mobile Crisis Team budget to $2.6 million and will help expand their services to 24 hours per day.

“Our Mobile Crisis Team provides a vital service to people in their most vulnerable moments; by pairing a mental health clinician with a police officer, they are able to respond in a way that deescalates situations, protecting both the individual and overall public safety,” Mohler said. “If approved by the Council, we will ensure that County residents who need these services throughout the night will now have access to them.”

“The increase in funding will mean an expansion in service hours, and having these services available around the clock is priceless,” said Director of the Department of Health and Human Services Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch.

The Mobile Crisis Team responds to severe behavioral health emergencies in the community, with the goals of diverting residents from unnecessary hospitalizations and/or entry into the criminal justice system, and reducing the number of emergency petitions. The team provided 2,343 interventions to County residents and their families in fiscal year 2018.

“This funding will allow constant coverage throughout the County to provide a resource to patrol officers dealing with those suffering from mental health issues,” said Chief of Police Terrence Sheridan. “Hopefully, this will continue our trend of peacefully resolving incidents involving individuals in crisis.”

“The Mobile Crisis Team has been a tremendous asset to the community and I support the expansion of their availability into the overnight hours, when many incidents take place,” said County Council Chair Julian Jones.

“Mental health crises don’t start in the morning and end at night,” concluded Mohler. “We have to take care of those in need.”

Facilitating Access to Mental Health Care

Another strength of the Mobile Crisis Team is that they help people take full advantage of the dynamic matrix of services in place to link County residents to preventative care options.

For more information on mental health services offered in Baltimore County, call the Baltimore County Department of Health at 410-887-3828. To access emergency mental health services, call the 24-hour Mobile Crisis Team hotline at 410-931-2214.   


Drug Drop Boxes are Conveniently Located in all Baltimore County Police Precincts

You know how important it is to read the label on your prescription medication and to take it only as directed. But are you also aware of how important it is to properly dispose of medications that you are no longer using? Unused prescription drugs can find their way into the wrong hands – with dangerous and oftentimes tragic consequences.

To help bring attention to this crucial public safety and public health issue, the Baltimore County Department of Health is promoting the national Prescription Drug Take Back Day (Saturday, April 28, 2018) and are reminding county residents that there are Drug Drop Box Locations in police precincts throughout Baltimore County. While the national observance will occur on April 28, Baltimore residents are able to place their expired and unused prescriptions in drug drop boxes throughout the county year round - 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.4 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs – the majority of which were obtained directly from family and friends or by having access to the home medicine cabinets of family and friends. National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is a safe, convenient and responsible way to clean out your medicine cabinets and dispose of unused or expired prescription drugs and perhaps help prevent drug addiction and potential overdose deaths.

In addition to taking your unused medications to a drug drop box location, you may also dispose of them at home if no specific disposal instructions are given on the prescription drug labeling. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Remove the medicine from its original container and mix it with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or used kitty litter.
  2. Place the mixture in a sealable bag or container to prevent medicine from leaking out.
  3. Place the sealed bag or container in with your household trash.

Don’t forget to scratch out all identifying information on the prescription drug container to make it unreadable. This will help to protect your identity and maintain the privacy of your personal health information. 

By Gregory Wm. Branch, M.D. 
Director of Health and Human Services


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017