Traffic Advisory: Road Closures Anticipated in Rockville on September 13

The following road closures will occur on Friday, September 13, 2019, in anticipation of a planned demonstration in downtown Rockville.  Please plan your routes accordingly and anticipate delays in these areas.

These closures will be in effect from 8 a.m. until approximately 2 p.m.

Maryland Avenue will be closed from Fleet Street to E. Jefferson Street

Vinson Street will be closed in its entirety.

Any updates to this information will be conveyed via our social media accounts.

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CTJ

Police Advise Residents that School Season Starts Next Week; Watch for School Buses

As we approach a new school year next week, the Montgomery County Department of Police are reminding all residents to be vigilant and pay attention to school buses as they pick-up and drop off children throughout the day.

This year, all Montgomery County School buses will be equipped with safety cameras that will capture the images of drivers who neglect to stop for school buses in the process of dropping off and picking up school children.  Negligent drivers will receive a civil citation with a fine starting at $250 with penalties going up to $500.

Drivers are required to stop in both directions for any school bus with it’s lights on and STOP sign extended who is in the process of picking up or dropping off children.  Unless there is a physical median divider, you are required to stop for the buses even if you are in the opposite lanes of traffic.

Click here for more information on stopping for school buses:  School Bus – Stopping (Note: Automated Fines are now $250)

Our goal is to have every child make it to school and return home safely every single day.  Attached are school bus safety camera footage showing just how dangerous failing to stop for school buses has become.

Last year, over 54,000 school bus safety citations were issued to drivers who failed to stop for school buses.

The failure by drivers to stop for school buses can result in catastrophic consequences.  There is absolutely no reason to hurry and drive impatiently that is worth the loss of or injury to any of our children.

Please be advised, some of these videos can be difficult to watch.  Parental advisement is recommended.

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CTJ

Missing Support Pup Reunited with Best Friend

Macks the dog with his family

Macks reunited with his best friend!

Members of the Montgomery County Department of Police are pleased to announce the successful reunification of Macks the Support Dog with his best friend.

On May 13, 2019, Macks, a therapy dog for a 4-year old disabled boy, went missing in the area of Cold Spring Road in Potomac.  It was believed Macks may have been picked up by a landscaping crew working in the neighborhood.  After searching far and wide, the family of Macks had almost given up hope that they would ever be reunited and a 4-year old boy was distraught.  Though media outlets publicized the family’s plight and a reward was offered, the silence was deafening to the languishing child and his family.

On August 23, 2019, members of the 4th District Special Assignment Team and members of the Special Operations Division K9 Unit and the 2nd District Community Action Team, were contacted by the family who had been contacted by someone claiming to have found Macks and wanting to claim the reward.  In an abundance of caution and a strong desire to bring Macks home, the officers from those units facilitated a meet with the person stating they had found Macks.  Ensuring additional heartbreak did not occur to this young boy weighed heavy on the officers.

In the evening of the 23rd, a meeting took place and Macks was reunited with the family.  Information regarding the finder of Macks in unavailable as the person wanted to remain anonymous.

A photo of Macks reunited with his best friend has been provided with permission by the family.

The Montgomery County Department of Police wish to thank all those who assisted with looking for Macks.  The family wishes to thank all those involved with reuniting Macks with his best friend.

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CTJ

Statement by Acting Chief Marcus Jones Regarding White Oak Incident; Additional Body-Worn Camera Footage Released

The following is a release of the statement to be provided by Acting Chief Marcus Jones at today’s press conference regarding the White Oak incident.

 

“There has been a great deal of interest by the public and from our elected officials about an incident that took place on May 9, 2019 at the McDonald’s restaurant at 11146 New Hampshire Avenue in White Oak.

In the interest of transparency, today we are releasing 205 minutes of video taken with body-worn cameras by our officers at the scene.

This is a release of all the body-worn camera footage available.  One of our officers, Sergeant McDannell, did not turn on his camera immediately as is required but did turn it on as the incident progressed.

I also want to emphasize that you will hear on this tape language from our officers that is decidedly unprofessional.  It violates our Department policy, it is not acceptable to me and it is not acceptable to our community.

Before getting into the details of the incident, I want to make it clear that I cannot discuss, or take questions, on any details of our internal investigation as it still in progress.

I would like to set out a broader context for the events of May 9 than has been available previously.

Our officers are very familiar with the White Oak area and with the McDonald’s restaurant specifically.  The beat involved here is one of our busiest in terms of calls for service.

Within that beat, this McDonald’s restaurant is one of the establishments that most frequently generates calls for service.  In 2018, there were 192 calls for service, with 57 of those dealing with trespassing.  Through June 15 of this year, there have been 53 calls for service, with 21 of those for trespassing.

The manager of the restaurant not only encourages his employees to call the police when there are issues, he also requested that we take action when officers view a situation that might be disruptive to the business or which we believe might be of a criminal nature.

We work with the McDonald’s to make certain there is a safe environment for customers and employees.  In this instance, our officer approached the four individuals involved outside of the restaurant and asked them to move along.

The reporting and social media postings at the time reflected the view that we unfairly and perhaps illegally accosted and searched young men who had been customers of the restaurant and were waiting to be picked up to be taken to work.

The evidence from our investigation presents a different view.

This is not what some people call a random “stop and frisk” action.  It began with the officer approaching the four men in the video and asking them to move along.

At that point, and what was not apparent on the social media video of the incident, was that our officers detected the odor of marijuana on at least two of the individuals.

This was probable cause for arrest, and the reason why the individuals and a backpack were searched.

We have also determined through security camera video that none of the men were customers of the restaurant.  None had ordered, consumed or picked up food or drinks inside the restaurant.

This was not an incident of racial profiling.  Our officers are trained in Constitutional policing while in the Training Academy and after they graduate.  We exceed the State standards in this area.  We do not tolerate racial profiling and it was not in evidence here.

At the end of the day, all of the men were issued trespass notices and two were issued Maryland Civil Citations for marijuana possession.  You will see on the video that at least one of the men was familiar with this process.

For the record, the store manager has asked that the trespass notices given to the four men not be rescinded, as some others have requested.

Thank you for your attention.  The video will be posted online for your viewing shortly after we conclude here.

And again, I want to apologize for the language of our officers that you will hear in the video.  I am disappointed with it, and I want to be clear it does not meet our standards.”

The body-worn camera footage related to this incident can be accessed and viewed at the following links:

Sergeant M. McDannell

Officer T. Fox

Officer M. Washington (part 1):

Officer M. Washington (part 2)

Officer K. Harrington

Officer J. Mirra (part 1)

Officer J. Mirra (part 2)

Officer J. Dodson 

Officer F. Ronald (part 1)

Officer F. Ronald (part 2)

Officer D. Olsen

Lieutenant E. Bunting

 

The policies of the Montgomery County Department of Police can be found at the following link:

https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/pol/resource/policies.html

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CTJ

Media Advisory: Press Conference on White Oak Incident – Friday, July 12 at 11:00 am

WHAT:

Press Conference to address the White Oak incident from May 9, 2019.  Additional body-camera footage to be released.

 

WHEN:

Friday, July 12, 2019 at 11:00 am

Press members should arrive with credentials no later than 10:45 am in order to proceed through security screening.

 

WHERE:

J. Thomas Manger Public Safety Headquarters (Lower Level)

100 Edison Park Drive

Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878

 

SPEAKERS:

Montgomery County Acting Chief of Police Marcus Jones

 

Questions?  Contact the Public Information Division at 240-773-5030 #4

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CTJ