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.
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
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 online form are forwarded directly to IAS. All complaints against employees of BCoPD are investigated and handled confidentially.
View the interactive police data dashboard, which displays detailed policing information outlining the number and disposition of complaints against Baltimore County police officers and instances of uses of force.
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.
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.
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.
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 table below for more details on the complaint comparison.
|Complaint Type||2015||2016||2017||2018||2019||Five-Year Average|
Administrative Discipline Hearing Boards
The 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 boards currently scheduled.
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.