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Compliments and Complaints About BCoPD Personnel

The Baltimore County Police Department values your input on the performance of BCoPD personnel. We encourage you to let us know when an officer or civilian member has provided exemplary service. Likewise, we want to know when you experience problems with our personnel.

Submit a Compliment or Complaint

On September 25, 2020, County Executive Johnny Olszewski released an interactive police data dashboard displaying detailed policing information outlining the number and disposition of complaints against Baltimore County police officers and instances of uses of force. While compliments and complaints can be filed with any member of BCoPD by mail, in person or by telephone, we encourage you to use the convenient electronic Compliment and Complaint form, to share your remarks. Access to this form is also available on the Police Data Dashboard.

The Police Data Dashboard allows users to see trends over time, the demographics of officers or individuals involved in complaints or use of force incidents, and other related data in an interactive format.

This dashboard displays over three years of data on use of force incidents and citizen and internally-generated complaints in Baltimore County. This tool represents another step being taken by Baltimore County to improve government transparency and accountability. It was developed as part of BCSTAT, a data-driven performance management program to create accountability, improve performance, ensure data quality and increase transparency across Baltimore County. 

Officer and Civilian Employee Compliments

Compliments about services rendered by a particular officer, civilian employee, or section are important to us and to our personnel. Your comments will become part of the employee's personnel file and will be shared with the employee's commanders. Occasionally, complimentary comments are the basis for nominations for special service awards or other departmental recognition.

Police Misconduct Complaints

Photo of Captain David Trivett
Captain David Trivett
Internal Affairs Section

BCoPD's Internal Affairs Section (IAS) is responsible for investigating all allegations of misconduct by sworn officers, including allegations of excessive force, discourtesy and poor service. IAS falls under the Professional Standards Bureau. IAS takes every complaint seriously and is committed to a thorough and fair investigation.

Captain David Trivett, a 25-year veteran of the department, is the commander of IAS. Complaints filed through the electronic form are forwarded directly to IAS. All complaints against employees of BCoPD are investigated and handled confidentially.

Internal Affairs Section
BCoPD Headquarters
700 East Joppa Road
Towson, Maryland 21286
Phone: 410-887-2300

Complaint Process Information

  • Complaints should be filed as soon as possible after the incident. Delays in filing a complaint can seriously hamper an investigation since, as time passes, evidence may be lost, personal memory of the incident may diminish and witnesses may become hard to locate. Note that Maryland law requires that complaints about police brutality and excessive force be filed within 366 days of the incident unless the IAS commander determines the need for immediate investigation.
  • Complaints are forwarded for investigation by IAS to the appropriate command. IAS monitors all investigations.
  • If a crime has been alleged, BCoPD contacts the Baltimore County State's Attorney. The State's Attorney determines if criminal charges should be filed.
  • The investigator assigned to your complaint will contact you. During investigation, statements will be taken from you, from witnesses and from the accused employee. All reasonable leads will be pursued. Investigations are confidential until finalized; no participant—including complainants, witnesses, investigators and employees—will disclose any information about the case until the investigation concludes.
  • There is no time limit for completion of investigation of a complaint as the complexity of the case determines the amount of time to complete the investigation. All investigations are completed as soon as possible. Investigations of police officers are governed by Maryland law, and certain procedures must be followed. The investigator will update the complainant on the status of the case.
  • The IAS commander issues final approval of completed cases. Complainants are notified by mail of the outcome of the case. Maryland law does not allow us to share specifics about how an employee is disciplined.
  • Knowingly making a false statement or complaint about police personnel is a serious matter. Complainants who knowingly make false statements or complaints may be held responsible, criminally or civilly. 

Filing a Complaint Anonymously

You can file a complaint anonymously. Be aware, however, that anonymous complaints often are difficult to investigate as investigators typically find a conflict between protecting the identity of a complainant, and reaching out to and gathering information from other sources.

Even if you choose to make an anonymous complaint, consider providing IAS with your contact information so you can be notified of the finding at the conclusion of the case.

Requests to Obtain Records Related to Misconduct Complaints

Members of the public may request to obtain records from the Police Department relating to an administrative or criminal investigation of misconduct by a police officer under the Public Information Act (PIA). These requests can be made via the same process used for all other Police Department requests to obtain information under the PIA.

To file a PIA request with the Police Department, follow the instructions for how to make a PIA request provided by the Baltimore County Office of Law. Use the custodian information listed for the Police Department.

Complaint Comparison

The BCoPD's Internal Affairs Section has compiled information comparing citizen and administrative complaints during a five-year time period, from 2015 to 2019. There was an average of 60 citizen complaints per year compared to 88 administrative complaints.

See the bar graph and table below for more details on the complaint comparison.

View the full size image of the comparison bar graph.
 

Type of Complaint

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

Five Year Average

Citizen Complaints

85

71

52

43

50

60

Administrative Complaints

89

74

93

104

79

88

Total

174

145

145

147

129

148

Administrative Discipline—Hearing Boards

The Baltimore County Police Department conducts a hearing board at the request of sworn members who dispute the outcome of the internal disciplinary process.

Sworn members receive some type of corrective action if an internal administrative investigation results in a finding that the sworn member has engaged in misconduct by intentionally violating the law or any Baltimore County Police Department policy or procedure. Corrective action includes counseling and re-training, a reprimand, loss of leave days, suspension, demotion or termination of employment. Internal discipline is separate from any punishment the sworn officer may face as a result of criminal charges. In cases where a sworn member faces criminal charges, the internal investigation likely will be conducted after the criminal charges are resolved.

A hearing board is a three-member panel appointed by the Chief of Police. It consists of a Captain or Major (who serves as a chairperson), a Lieutenant and a member of the department holding the same rank as the accused member.

The date, time, and location of hearing boards will be posted on this page 10 working days prior to the scheduled date of the hearing board. Maryland law allows the Chief of Police to close a hearing board to public view if there is “good cause, including to protect a confidential informant, an undercover officer, or child witness” (Section 3-107(e)(II) of the Maryland Public Safety Article).

Hearing Board Schedule

Information is posted 10 days before a scheduled hearing board.

There are no hearing board dates scheduled at this time. 

If you plan to attend a hearing board, please check this site the night before the scheduled hearing to confirm that the hearing is still scheduled. A hearing board will be canceled if the dispute is resolved before the scheduled hearing.

 
Revised September 24, 2021         

 

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