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Keyword: public safety

by Tammy Price, Chief, Baltimore County 911 Center

911 has been featured in television shows (Rescue 911, and 9-1-1) and movies (Operator and The Call) so you may be pretty familiar with the profession, but there are some things you may not know about your local Baltimore County 911 Center. 

Did you know? 

We are only 39 years old!  It seems like 911 has always been around, but The Baltimore County 911 Center has only been in operation since January 15, 1980.  In fact, the very first 911 call was made a mere 12 years before -- in Alabama on February 16, 1968.   

We’re the 3rd largest 911 center in Maryland! As such, we handle over 800,000 calls for service each year – that’s an average of about 2,200 calls per day.   

We are a civilian organization.  While we work in conjunction with the Police and Fire Departments, we are a separate agency. 

We have over 200 employees. Our dedicated men and women are the FIRST of the first responders.     

Answering our questions doesn’t delay help. The location of the emergency is the most important piece of information you can give us.  Once we have the location, we will dispatch the call and then ask the rest of our questions while help is on the way. 

Our non-emergency number is 410-887-2222.  This is a 24 hour number that you can use to report non-emergency situations in Baltimore County.   

Young children call 911 too!  Early education is key, so we attend community events and teach an elementary education program to help young children learn about 911. 

In our profession, we are known as telecommunicators. However, each 911 Center’s job title may vary. In Baltimore County, our calltakers and dispatchers are called Emergency Communications Technicians (ECTs). 

National Telecommunicators Week celebrates our calltakers and dispatchers.  Each year, a week in April is designated as National Telecommunicators Week to recognize the work our men and women do.  Just as the police and fire departments have the thin blue and red lines, our profession is identified by the Thin Gold Line.  
 


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.

 
 
Revised September 11, 2017