PARKVILLE, MD—Baltimore County Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge #4, located in Parkville, released a statement on Thursday accusing Baltimore County Police Chief Melissa Hyatt of ending due process for police officers who make an error while on the job.
The statement was issued in response to a vote on HB670 by the Maryland Police Training and Standards Commission, which included Chief Hyatt as a voting member.
The full statement from FOP #4 president David J. Folderauer reads as follows:
Chief Hyatt voted as a member of the Maryland Police Training and Standards Commission to end due process for our Baltimore County Police Officers accused of making mistakes while working.
With the absence of Due Process, a Baltimore County Police Officer may be terminated from employment without a trial board, which includes citizen participation. A trial board is appointed by the Chief to hear testimony, review evidence and consider any mitigating circumstances.
Chief Hyatt and the Commission ignored the direction of the Maryland General Assembly in an attempt to circumvent the trial board process.
With morale at an all-time low, these actions will have a negative impact on recruitment and retention of our police officers. This will lead to a concern for the safety and welfare of the citizens of Baltimore County. Our police do not deserve this attack on their basic rights. They deserve fundamental fairness, a core value of the Baltimore County Police Department.
David J. Folderauer
Baltimore County Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 4
HB 670, A.K.A. the Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021, is summarized as follows on the Maryland General Assembly website:
“Repealing the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights; prohibiting a police officer from preventing a citizen from recording the officer’s actions if the citizen is otherwise acting lawfully and safely; establishing the Maryland Loan Assistance Repayment Program for Police Officers and the Maryland Police Officers Scholarship Program; requiring the Police Training and Standards Commission to take certain actions in response to violations of a certain Use of Force Statute; requiring each county to have a police accountability board; etc.”
Baltimore County Police Department Chief Melissa Hyatt on Thursday evening issued the following statement in response:
The press release from FOP Lodge #4 is factually inaccurate; due process has not been eliminated. I have and will continue to support due process for our police officers. Contrary to the FOP Lodge #4 statement, the work of the Maryland Police Training and Standards Commission follows the direction of the Maryland General Assembly in enacting HB 670.
As Chief of Police, my priority continues to be the safety of the community and the welfare of my dedicated police officers who protect us all.