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Keyword: public safety

Calls for regional partnership rather than finger-pointing

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski released the following statement in response to public conversations regarding recent public safety incidents at White Marsh Mall:

“Every person deserves to feel safe in their community. Chief Sheridan and I are actively discussing additional measures to engage residents and address concerns about crime. To that end, I will be talking with mall leadership and will ask them to develop a clear and specific policy on unsupervised youth. As we work to keep our communities safe, we will not point fingers but instead work in collaboration with our partners in the Baltimore region to address public safety concerns.”


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.

Flash Flood Watch Issued for County, More Rain Forecast Through Weekend

Baltimore County is asking residents and business owners to use the following phone numbers in case of flood emergency:

Medical or life-threatening emergency        Call 911

Flooded basement                                       Call 911

Emergency shelter and food                       410-887-2222

Sewer, road or tree issues                           410-887-3560

Storm recovery and road closure information will be updated on the County’s web site, baltimorecountymd.gov or on Twitter at BACOemergency.

“With more rain forecast through the weekend, we’re hoping for the best, but are planning for the worst. Our department of public works crews and fire and police responders are ready to assist with whatever Mother Nature throws us. We encourage neighbors to continue to check in on their neighbors,” said Baltimore County Executive Don Mohler.

Additional Flood Risks

 A National Weather Service (NWS) flash flood watch is in effect through late this evening. The NWS bulletin says, "Numerous showers and thunderstorms capable of producing heavy rainfall are expected to approach the region this afternoon and continue past midnight. Localized rainfall amounts of two to four inches are expected."

The "torrential" rainfall is likely to cause rapid rises of creeks and streams, causing them to spill beyond their banks, NWS said. Low spots along roadways may become impassible due to accumulating runoff. Flash flooding may develop quickly.

Flooding, especially flash flooding, is one of the deadliest natural disasters. Most fatalities occur when motorists and passengers are washed away in their vehicles.

Information on how to prepare before, during and after a flood can be found on the Baltimore County website.

“Safety is our first concern,” said Baltimore County Fire Department Division Chief Jay Ringgold, who oversees Emergency Management. “We strongly urge residents to stay away from creeks and streams, and never attempt to drive through floodwaters.”

Curbside Removal of Storm Debris

As previously announced, the County is providing curbside pick-up of storm debris from homes in the areas most severely affected by flooding.

The Baltimore County Bureau of Highways will provide curbside pickup upon request of residents in the greater Catonsville and Oella areas and the Turner Station neighborhood in Dundalk. Residents may call 410-887-3560 to request this service, which is available through Friday, June 8.

The County is also providing a temporary debris drop-off center at the Benjamin Banneker Historical Center and Park, located at 300 Oella Avenue, Catonsville, MD 21228, 10 a.m. through 5 p.m., every day through Friday, June 8.

In addition, residents can deliver debris to the County’s drop-off centers located in Halethorpe, Cockeysville and White Marsh.

Storm Damage and Operations Summary

Four roads in the southwest portion of Baltimore County remain closed and County engineers are evaluating conditions. Closed roads include Old Frederick Road, River Road, Westchester Avenue and Thistle Road. Public Works officials expect these roads to remain closed for an extended period.

County public works and fire crews responded to more than 400 homes with flooded basements to assist with pump-outs. Fire crews performed dozens of significant water rescues and have responded to hundreds of calls for service since Sunday. Baltimore County Fire personnel also continue to provide mutual aid to Howard County, including search and rescue operations support.

One home in the Catonsville area was ruled uninhabitable by County inspectors. Catonsville Elementary School experienced minor flooding, but opened on time May 29.

Homeowners who have suffered damage are advised to contact their insurance companies immediately.

County Invites Stories of Neighbors Helping Neighbors

During difficult times, people often need an extra helping hand, and others are willing to jump in and offer assistance. County Executive Mohler invites people to share stories about acts of kindness in the community, using the hashtag #BaltCoNeighborsCare.

“We would love for people to share their thanks for a neighbor who helped them clean their basement, or maybe a stranger who stepped in to help in a moment of need related to the storm,” Mohler said.

These stories will be shared and/or retweeted on Baltimore County Government’s social media pages.


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017