Statement Regarding May 14th County Council Letter

We understand and appreciate the concerns regarding the recent incident in White Oak expressed by members of the County Council in their May 14th letter to the Department.

The Department values openness and transparency in its interactions with the public, and this event is no exception.  From the moment we became aware of this concerning incident, the Department immediately initiated an Internal Affairs investigation into the event and all employees involved on the same day it occurred.  We understand the importance of this matter and how it impacts our credibility and relationships with the community.  We also understand the pain and deep concern this incident has caused to so many people.

The Department has been gathering further information and data as well as evaluating training and policies as the investigation and review of the incident proceeds.

The requests for information by members of the Council and others, while not routine, will be handled consistent with laws and policies applicable to the release of information.

There have also been questions and comments regarding the status of the investigation of the officers involved. In accordance with Maryland law, including the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights, as well as our local collective bargaining agreement, the Department is conducting a full, thorough and fair investigation of the incident.

We will release more information as it is developed and confirmed.

###

CTJ

Statement Regarding Video on Social Media from Silver Spring

The Montgomery County Department of Police takes all allegations of racial discrimination seriously.  We are committed to serving all members of the community in a fair, impartial, and non-discriminatory manner at all times.  All allegations of misconduct surrounding inappropriate actions or language by our employees are investigated by our Internal Affairs Division, at times in concert with other governmental agencies within Montgomery County.

The matter brought to our attention today is disturbing and contrary to our department’s values and our overarching mission to fairly and impartially serve our community.  The statements observed on the social media video clip are contrary to our extensive training curriculum that include implicit bias training and other training programs to ensure fair, unbiased, and non-discriminatory policing in our community.

We sincerely regret the disturbing nature of this video.  We understand the pain such language causes the entire community.  Our commitment to having open and honest communication with the community and providing transparent police service persists. As part of our commitment to accountability and transparency, we are releasing both the social media video and the body worn camera footage of the involved officer for all to view.

The referenced videos were captured during an interaction between officers and four individuals at the McDonalds located at 11146 New Hampshire Avenue, in Silver Spring, on today’s date at 10:36 a.m.  The officers were investigating trespassers at that location.

Instagram Video

Body Camera Footage

This incident remains under investigation and appropriate actions shall be taken in conformance with applicable laws and policy.

###

CTJ

Officers Identified in Intervention of Attempted Domestic Homicide in Germantown

Zain Imdad

On April 15, Zain Imdad, age 28. of Germantown, entered a residence in the 14000 block of Jump Drive in Germantown, where the female adult victim was residing.  The victim had a protective order against Imdad, with whom she had a previous relationship.  Imdad proceeded to take the victim and other family members within the household hostage, threatening them with a handgun.  Imdad was allegedly distraught over the ending of the relationship with the victim, and informed the victim and other family members that he was going to kill everyone if the victim did not reconcile the relationship.  Imdad also told the victim and family that he would kill them if the police showed up and then shoot the police.  One of the family members was able to notify police of the incident via the Emergency Communications Systems (911).

Officers from the 5th District responded and evaluated the situation.  Though facing an armed suspect threatening to kill the victim and family, officers placed themselves in peril by making immediate entry and confronting Imdad, who was now holding the victim with a knife to her throat.  Officers were able to wrestle the weapon away from Imdad, arrest him, and free the victim and her family.

Officer Andre Smith, Corporal Shaun Santos, and Officer Elvis Cruz

The 5th District officers who intervened have been identified as Corporal Shaun Santos, Officer Andre Smith, and Officer Elvis Cruz.

The Commander of the 5th District, Mark Plazinski stated:

“The efforts of these three officers make me proud to be a Montgomery County Police Officer.  They responded to a domestic violence case, where it is clear the suspect intended to do great harm to the victim and her family.  Corporal Santos, Officer Smith and Cruz, were quickly able to take this suspect into custody without anyone, including the suspect being harmed.   This is evidence of the quality of officers we hire and the excellent training they receive.  I am thankful that they are part of the 5th District Team.”

###

CTJ

Department Statement Regarding Increased Security at Mosques

The Montgomery County Department of Police have received numerous inquiries regarding a press release by a Montgomery County council member concerning a request for increased security at local mosques during Ramadan.

In keeping with the department’s long established commitment to protect and enhance public safety, we continue to work closely with our faith partners across many denominations to help provide for secure, safe and vibrant communities for worship.

The Montgomery County Department of Police does not disclose security plans publicly, as such discussions may diminish – not enhance –  the safety of our residents.

For years, we have been working with numerous members of the faith community to establish and maintain open, honest and strong lines of communication and to work in partnership to help maintain safety at places of worship, especially during holy days.  We will continue to utilize established law enforcement techniques to assist in this endeavor and work in concert with these communities to enhance our relationships even further.

##

CTJ

Montgomery County Law Enforcement Agencies and DHHS to Participate in DEA Nationwide Prescription Drug Take-Back Day; An Opportunity to Help Prevent Opioid Abuse by Safe Disposal of Unused Opioid Prescriptions

On Saturday, April 27 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., community members can drop off unused, unwanted, or expired prescription drugs, as Montgomery County once again participates in the Washington Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA’s) National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.  Understanding the prevalence of opioid overdoses and abuse, this event is a particularly important means for the public to safely dispose of unused and unwanted opioid prescriptions and prevent their life-threatening abuse.

County law enforcement agencies and the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse Prevention Office are co-sponsoring the effort. This is a safe, free and anonymous opportunity to dispose of unused, unwanted or expired prescription drugs and is part of a national effort to prevent the increasing problems of prescription drug abuse and theft that continues to occur nationwide.

Drop-off locations will be open to the general public throughout Montgomery County. These locations will accept prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications only. Liquids, illicit drugs, needles, sharps and syringes cannot be accepted as part of this take-back program.  Officers will staff collection boxes in the parking lots of the following facilities or in facility lobbies:

  • Bethesda

MCP 2nd District Police Station – 4823 Rugby Avenue

Village of Friendship Heights Community Center – 4433 S. Park Avenue, Chevy Chase

Chevy Chase Village Police Station – 5906 Connecticut Avenue

  • Gaithersburg

North Creek Community Center – 20125 Arrowhead Rd., Montgomery Village

Asbury Methodist Village – Apartment Center Lobby – 301 Odendhal Ave, Bldg. 405

Gaithersburg Police Station – 14 Fulks Corner Avenue

  • Germantown

MCP 5th District Station – 20000 Aircraft Drive

  • Rockville

Bender Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Greater Washington – 6125 Montrose Road

Rockville City Police/Montgomery County Sheriffs – Rockville City Police Station 2 W. Montgomery Avenue (Lobby of Rockville City Police building)

Maryland State Police Rockville Barrack – 7915 Montrose Road

  • Silver Spring

MCP 3rd District Station – 1001 Milestone Drive

Silver Spring Civic Center – 1 Veterans’ Plaza, Silver Spring

  • Takoma Park

Takoma Park Police at Takoma Park City Building Lobby – 7500 Maple Avenue

  • Wheaton

MCP 4th District Station – 2300 Randolph Road

MedStar Pharmacy – 3305 N. Leisure World Blvd., Silver Spring

 

Residents are encouraged to bring in medications containing controlled substances but will accept any medications brought for disposal. All sites will take pills and medication patches of all kinds. If possible, prescription labels should be removed or personal information should be blacked out; however, pill bottles will still be accepted if the labels are attached. No questions will be asked. This is an opportunity to safely empty out a medicine cabinet of drugs that are no longer needed.

Disposing of prescription drugs through a drug take-back day is the safest option. If it is safe to dispose of a drug by flushing it down a toilet, the drug label or prescription information will indicate that option is an appropriate means of disposal. Otherwise unused drugs should not be poured down a sink or flushed for disposal.

Drugs should not be thrown in the trash unless specific safety precautions for safe disposal are followed. The County’s Division of Solid Waste Services offers these suggestions:

Place unwanted or expired medication into a plastic bag (with a seal) or other empty container with a lid to prevent liquid medications from leaking out.

Mix with kitty litter, coffee grounds or sawdust. (Liquid medications can be solidified using kitty litter or sawdust.)

Seal the bag and/or container.

Crush pills or tablets.

Put the container and/or bag containing the medication into your regular household trash.

Remove the label with the patient’s name from the original medicine vial or bottle.

Place the empty plastic vial or bottle into your blue County recycling bin. Empty aerosol inhalers can also be recycled in recycling bins.

Unused and/or expired medicines that remain in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. According to the DEA, rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.  Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

The returned medications on Drug Take-Back day will be incinerated according to federal and state environmental guidelines.

rlg/CTJ