CROWNSVILLE, Md. - In its 42 year history FOP Lodge 70 says although they haven't always agreed, they've at least been able to work with the folks on top.
But they say the current administration of Chief James Teare and County Executive John Leopold has forced them to do something they've never done.
They say they have no faith in their leadership.
"But until the details of this indictment came out and people say the degree that our chief was protecting the county executive and that changes the ball game completely." Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 70 President O’Brien Atkinson says.
The indictment says Leopold used his security detail of county police officers to keep watch while he had sex with women in cars, to run personal errands and even to change his colostomy bag.
Duties that Atkinson says were way out of the scope of what officers were supposed to do.
And when they complained nothing happened.
“As one of our members said at our meeting tonight we've been collectively been changing Mr. Leopold's pee bag for years and this is kind of the antithesis of the situation we're in it shouldn't have happened I think the officers were very upset about it they brought it through the chain of command and they were told hey hey hey keep him happy keep him happy and that's inappropriate." Atkinson says.
Atkinson says the Leopold indictment is just a part of a bigger picture of contention between officers and their leadership.
They say they've been understaffed for years and officers can't get leave, or being held over the end of their shift for hours and their complaints have fallen on deaf ears.
They say Leopold's attitude to do more with less has destroyed morale and jeopardized the community's faith in the department.
In a statement, Police Chief James Teare told ABC 2 News:
"I continue to work well with the FOP and its members. Our police agency's current leadership will always include accountability-focused, quality of life initiatives, and problem-oriented community policing that is transparent and accessible to the public, media, and the profession. I am honored to serve as Anne Arundel County's Police Chief and I continue to have full faith and confidence in all police department members and our crime fighting strategy."
They're asking the council to create a committee that would have oversight of the police department to keep any future chiefs from being appointed directly and as Atkinson says beholding to the county executive.
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