14 officers charged with misconduct: Prince George’s Co.
PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY, MD — A Prince George’s County grand jury on Thursday indicted 13 current Prince George’s County police officers and a recently retired officer for professional misconduct, as well as felony and misdemeanor theft, authorities said.
The officers were accused of working for a private security company while also serving with the police department. The company provided security for more than 20 apartment complexes in the county, the police department said in a news release.
Court documents say the charged officers gave false information to the apartment complexes to justify keeping the security company hired. The misconduct in office allegedly took place between January 2019 and March 2021, according to the Prince George’s County Police Department.
In February 2021, the Prince George’s County Police Department Internal Affairs Division received an internal complaint regarding potential wrongdoing by several of the accused officers. An investigation into the allegations has identified other officers who may potentially be involved.
The police powers of the officers involved were suspended from April 2021. All officers charged were assigned to the Landover III and Westphalia VIII Patrol Division Special Assignment Teams, which were proactive saturation teams reporting to the Bureau of Patrol, the department said.
“It is truly a disheartening day for the men and women who represent the best of the Prince George’s County Police Department,” Prince George’s County Police Chief Malik Aziz said in a statement. process under the law, but the allegations about this large group of officers are deeply troubling. If the allegations are proven true during the legal process, their actions not only tarnish the badge we all proudly wear, but also erode the trust of the community.
“We remain on track to restore our noble and trusted policing brand that provides professional policing to our community. We have implemented a philosophy of trust, fairness and fairness that our residents demand and deserve” , Aziz said. “Our officers are striving to be the epitome of 21st century policing in this modern policing era of positive reform.
This case stems from a separate, but related, case involving a former county police officer who was indicted by a federal grand jury and pleaded guilty earlier this year. This investigation uncovered evidence that at some point between January 17, 2019 and March 27, 2021, 14 county police officers concealed overlapping side job changes to the police department.
Seven of the officers are charged with an additional count of misconduct for submitting falsified information to the secondary employer.
Additionally, 13 of the officers are charged with scheme theft of at least $1,500 to less than $25,000, and one of the defendants is charged with scheme theft of at least $100 to less than $1,500. for stealing in Prince George’s County. If convicted, these officers could face up to five years in prison for the theft charges. There is no maximum penalty for professional misconduct.
The indictments were announced by Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy, who was joined by Chief Aziz and Barry Stanton, Deputy Director General of Public Safety and Homeland Security Prince George County.
“This is an unprecedented case in which 14 officers have been charged with theft and misconduct. With the recent increase in crime we have seen over the past few weeks, it is very difficult to have to carry a matter like this to the public. However, we cannot and will not ignore these crimes,” Braveboy said. “Police officers are sworn to protect and serve the public, and they are sworn to uphold These indictments demonstrate our commitment to pursuing justice regardless of a suspect’s race, gender, religion or profession.
Beginning in July 2021, the Prince George’s County Police Department began implementing changes to the Department’s Secondary Employment Policy to include:
- Employees are prohibited from engaging in the business of providing security guards, special constables, or any other law enforcement related services to business establishments or other persons in the county of Prince George.
- The department purchased software to manage secondary jobs. Agents must clock in and out using this program.
- Site inspections are conducted by the Discovery and Compliance Unit of the Internal Affairs Division.
- When new businesses seek secondary employment, an email announcing the opportunity is sent to all email agents in the county.
- The agency initiated a process of randomization when selecting site coordinators for new jobs to ensure a variety of coordinators, which also limits the number of locations an agent can coordinate.
The officers involved are: