For the first time, the Anne Arundel County Police Department is opening lieutenant jobs to applicants outside the agency, drawing fire from the parent organization for the lieutenants' union.
The department pointed to a dearth of applicants internally for recent lieutenant openings — the sole eligible candidate for the latest one was promoted — as a reason to seek external candidates. There are two lieutenant vacancies, with more expected this fall.
Law enforcement agencies elsewhere open positions to outside candidates, and applications for management-level openings for other government jobs, including civilian posts in the county's Police Department, are open to external candidates. Anne Arundel police have long hired lateral entry-level police officers from other agencies, and the chief's job has not always gone to an insider.
"Recognizing that the two previous internal promotional announcements resulted in a low volume of referred candidates for promotional consideration, the police department looked for alternative solutions presented by this challenge," the department said in a statement.
The International Brotherhood of Police Officers, which represents Anne Arundel's police lieutenants, said in a prepared statement that it was "another sign that the department's leadership has failed."
The organization has previously called for County Executive John R. Leopold and Police Chief Col. James E. Teare Sr. to step down amid allegations that Leopold used his police security detail for personal chores and political gain, and that Teare did not effectively stop misuse of the detail. Leopold is fighting charges of four counts of misconduct in office and one of fraudulent misappropriation. Teare was not charged.
The organization also has said it's no wonder that dozens of sergeants haven't sought promotion to lieutenant. The pay structure has created a situation in which there are police two ranks lower who earn more than lieutenants, it said, and sergeants can receive overtime pay while lieutenants cannot.
The lieutenants have not reached a contract agreement with the county for the coming fiscal year.