Quarter of Balto. Co. police leadership could leave

Top administrators considering early-retirement incentive

October 28, 2011|By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun

About one in four top leaders in the Baltimore County Police Department are expected to leave under an early-retirement incentive, county officials said Friday.

Some of the officers plan to retire Nov.1, said Don Mohler, chief of staff to County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.

Kamenetz proposed the incentive last month, and members of the County Council approved the package. They hope to eliminate about 200 positions from the county workforce of 8,000.

Only those with the rank of captain or above are eligible for the buyouts.

The department's executive corps has nearly 40 members, including captains, majors and colonels, spokeswoman Elise Armacost said. About 25 percent are expected to retire, she said, "but that number is fluid."

"People who are eligible for this program are thinking about what they want to do, so the number is fluctuating every day," she said.

The departures could lead to a department restructuring, though details haven't been worked out.

"Until we know how many people leave and which people leave, it's really premature to start the reorganization," she said.

Patch.com first reported the expected retirements Thursday.

For an employee to qualify for the incentive, the county must determine that the position can be eliminated without cutting services. Administrative Officer Fred Homan must review and approve applications.

The official application period for the incentive starts Monday and continues through December. Those accepted for early retirement would stop working by the end of February.

After discussions with Police Chief Jim Johnson in the past few weeks, Homan approved some officers' requests to retire in November, Mohler said. He would not identify those officers.

"Obviously, if employees come off of our payroll prior to February, fiscally that helps the county manage its budget challenges," Mohler said.

alisonk@baltsun.com

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