Monday, April 15, 2013
A county police spokeswoman said officers will patrol local critical infrastructure sites.
Following explosions near the site of the Boston Marathon, Baltimore County police are conducting local patrols as a precautionary measure. Specifically, Police Chief Jim Johnson has ordered precinct commanders to immediately direct officers to check on critical infrastructure sites in the county, according to a statement. "These checks are a precaution reflecting heightened awareness following the Boston incident," according to Elise Armacost, a department spokeswoman. "There is no information at this time to indicate any threat to the Baltimore region." Spokeswoman Cathleen Batton previously said the department has been monitoring the situation to determine what actions are necessary. The expolosions have left two dead and more than 100 …
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Baltimore County police release voicemail Todd Huff left for county police Chief Jim Johnson on the night the councilman was arrested for drunken driving.
In the minutes after Baltimore County Council member Todd Huff was pulled over for driving without headlights, the first-term Republican apparently called Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson multiple times and said in one of the calls he had been drinking before operating his county-owned Jeep. "Apparently I was pulled over, I didn't have my headlights on and yes, I was drinking," Huff said in the voice mail left on Johnson's county cell phone that lasted less than 30 seconds. The call was released by the the Baltimore County Police Department under a Maryland Public Information Act request filed Monday by Patch. Huff was pulled over shortly before 3 a.m. on Feb. 23 after a police officer spotted the councilman's silver Jeep Grand …
Monday, December 10, 2012
State delegate says he wants a program that protects people and instills public confidence.
A state delegate from Baltimore County says public confidence in speed cameras has deteriorated to the point that a state audit and possible reboot are needed. Del. Jon Cardin said Monday he plans to sponsor a bill calling for an audit of state and local speed camera tickets with an eye on rooting out bogus citations. "Maybe it's time to go back to the drawing board," Cardin said. The Baltimore County Democrat said he is in the process of drawing up a bill that would create an audit due to legislators by October 2013. Instances of bogus tickets issued to drivers would result in a $1,000 per incident penalty, though it is not clear if the jurisdiction or the speed camera vendor would be responsible for the fine, Cardin said. "I'm not trying…
Friday, October 26, 2012
Hurricane Sandy could reach the Maryland area by Sunday night.
County officials are stressing preparation in advance of the anticipated arrival of Hurricane Sandy. "It's all about preparing," said Elise Armacost, a county spokeswoman. "This could turn out to be a really nasty couple of days. We just don't know yet but we don't want to wait until it's on us and say 'Wow, this is a serious emergency.'" Hurricane Sandy Thursday night was off the coast of Florida. Forecasters at the National Weather Service believe the storm could track up the east coast and possibly join with another weather system moving in from the Great Lakes region. County agencies are running through pre-storm checklists and preparing for the worst, said Armacost. Earlier this month county officials stressed personal preparedness in…
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Sold out Wednesday event, described as "a destructive roving dance party"postponed by promoter "to a later date."
UPDATED (8:27 p.m.)—Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson Tuesday said he expected the events that led to a brawl outside the Recher Theater Sunday would not repeat themselves. The chief may get to test those words later when the sold out Barstool Blackout Tour comes to the venue. The tour was expected to be at the bar Wednesday. "Due to recent events and circumstances beyond our control in the Towson area this show will have to be postponed until a later date," promoters said on a statement on their website. Promoters linked to a local story about a brawl outside Recher Theater Sunday that resulted in a number of arrests. The event was still listed Tuesday night on Recher's website. Promoters wrote that the bar would offer full …
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Baltimore County police say devices are not linked to red light or speed cameras "nor are they used for intelligence gathering."
Data collected by 19 license plate readers owned by the Baltimore County police are stored securely and destroyed after a year, according to a department spokeswoman. But the information, although wiped from county computer systems, is transfered to a state law enforcement intelligence gathering agency that the Americal Civil Liberties Union has raised concerns about. Elise Armacost, a spokeswoman for the department answered questions about what happens to the data just a day after the American Civil Liberties Union announced it filed public information requests on state and local police agencies in more than 35 states. The civil liberties group is concerned extended storage of such information could lead to privacy violations by law …
Monday, July 30, 2012
Civil liberties group says it supports the technology but has privacy concerns about how long the collected information is stored.
Information collected by police through the use of automatic license plate readers could lead to violations of privacy, according to lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union. The civil liberties group Monday said in a statement that it had filed a public information request with local and state law enforcement agencies in 35 states seeking details on how long the data is stored. "Automatic license plate readers make it possible for the police to track our location whenever we drive our cars and to store that information forever," said Catherine Crump, staff attorney with the ACLU's Speech, Privacy & Technology Project, in a statement. "The American people have a right to know whether our police departments are using these tools in a …
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Police say technical problems will delay the use of four new cameras.
The spirit is willing but sometimes the technology is weak. Four new speed cameras that were scheduled to become operational today have been delayed because of technical difficulties, according to Elise Armacost, a police spokeswoman. The camera locations include: ACS State and Local Solutions is working to resolve the unspecified problem, according to Armacost, who added that police will make an announcement when the issues have been resolved and the cameras are operational. The devices issue $40 tickets to vehicles photographed exceeding the speed limit by more than 12 mph in a county school zone. The new cameras, once operational, will issue warnings for the first 30 days.
Friday, June 1, 2012
Devices at Bais Yaakov and St. Ursula's schools are the first in private school zones.
Speed cameras will be placed near Baltimore County private schools for the first time in the program's two year history. The cameras on Smith Avenue near Bais Yaakov School in Pikesville and on Harford Road between Putty Hill and I-695 near St. Ursula School in Parkville are part of five new cameras announced late Friday by the Baltimore County Police Department. "We're concerned about safety in school zones, period—whether they are in public or private school zones," said Elise Armacost, a police department spokeswoman. In addition to the cameras near the private schools, the department plans to install cameras at three other locations: Armacost could not immediately provide information on how the locations for the new cameras, including …
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
New interview process aims to make the Baltimore County police more responsible, accountable for selecting its leaders.
Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson threw out a more than three-decades old promotions policy just days before a class of sergeants was to take standardized oral interviews to become lieutenants. The change comes amid a looming U.S. Department of Justice inquiry into the county's hiring and promotions practices within the police and fire departments. The change involves who interviews prospective candidates for promotion. Until now, interviews had been conducted by outside law enforcement personnel. Now, those interviews will be conducted by officials who work for Baltimore County. "I have not determined the motivation of the administration as to why this change was instituted," said Cole Weston, president of the Fraternal Order of …