Earlier this month an off-duty Baltimore County Police officer fatally shot a man, while moonlighting as a security guard at a Giant supermarket in Catonsville. This sparked a debate on whether officers moonlighting should be required to wear body cameras.
Baltimore County police officers working second jobs are not required to wear body cameras, but some agencies with body camera programs do require it. The officer involved in the Catonsville incident was not publically identified, as part of an agreement with the police union. The officer, a 16-year veteran, was placed on administrative duty, according to a police spokesman.
The victim, Christopher E. Clapp, 35, allegedly stole laundry detergent from the supermarket, before exiting the building and getting into a car. The officer, in full uniform, confronted Clapp who ended up dragging him over 100 feet, before he was fatally shot.
Following the shooting, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, a Democrat, called upon the county attorney to review the issue. Ten years ago, Kamenetz supported a policy change that would require officers moonlighting to wear their uniforms. He said he would also support requiring them wear body cameras. Maryland State Senator Jim Brochin, a Democrat, also supports the requirement.
There would be the issue of additional costs for providing and maintaining the body cameras for greater use, Kamenetz said. He said he would have to investigate whether some of the costs would be the responsibility of the off-duty officers.
Baltimore County has currently provided approximately 1,000 of its officers with body cameras. By September, the agency plans to equip over 1,400 of its uniformed officers with body cameras, as well.