Anne Arundel County is looking outside its own police department to find new lieutenants because local, qualified officers won’t apply for the positions, according to the International Brotherhood of Police Officers (IBPO).
National union President David J. Holway declared the “open job posting” a sign that the Anne Arundel County police department’s leadership has failed.
“Current Anne Arundel officers don’t want the promotion because they know it will bring them a step closer to the failed leadership that has broken their department,” Holway said. “It’s shameful that the county’s leaders have to advertise elsewhere to bring in superior officers who don’t know the extent of the dysfunction and leadership failure.”
O’Brien Atkinson, the president of Anne Arundel County’s chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, told Patch he felt that the out-of-department hiring was a direct retaliation by Police Chief Lt. James Teare for the union's vote of no confidence.
Atkinson said lieutenants in surrounding departments make $5,000 more annually, possibly one reason for the lack of interest among county officers. Also, he said sergeants promoted to lieutenant actually get a pay cut despite an increase in responsibility.
"I don't think you'll find a police agency in the state of Maryland who would even think about hiring lieutenants from outside," Atkinson said. "You're talking about mid-level managers who don't understand the culture or our department—the makeup of our community."
General "problems" throughout the department are deterring officers from even wanting to move up the police force, Atkinson said.
"The best overall way to describe our police department ... 'dysfunctional.' It has to do with our staffing, our pay and benefits, our mandatory traffic stops and mandatory minimums," he said. "I don't think anybody really wants to bring themselves closer to the management of our department."
Atkinson told Patch that the job listing for out-of-department applicants asks for six years of law enforcement experience with two years as a sergeant.
"Our concerns is that this is unheard of in a police department that size," said IBPO spokeswoman Meghan Walsh. "It's the first time the [Anne Arundel Police Department] has done this."
Anne Arundel County police spokesman Justin Mulcahy told The Capital that it was Chief Teare’s decision to accept out-of-county applicants. The spokesman explained that Teare made the call based on anticipated vacancies in the coming months.
In the national union release, Holway once again called for both Teare and Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold to resign from their respective offices until Leopold’s trial is complete.