Investigation into FSU Police Department Finds No Evidence of Misconduct; Accused Officer Will Not Face Charges
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly reported that the accused officer resigned after the investigation. The officer, who will not face any charges, did not resign.
An investigation into the Frostburg State University Police Department has found no evidence of misconduct. The accused officer will not face charges for misconduct. Chief Cynthia Smith would not name the accused officer.
The investigation was conducted by the Combined County Criminal Investigations Unit (C3I), the Allegany County State’s Attorney’s Office and Cumberland City Police Department. Charges were never filed against the officer.
Chief Smith said, “This is a different case than the charge against former officer Jarrett Warnick from last spring,” Chief Smith said. “The judge placed his case on the inactive (stet) docket.”
This investigation was for another officer who was accused of misconduct, according to Smith. “The separate case being referred to here came about as a result of information stemming from the Warnick criminal investigation that suggested that another FSU Police office had engaged in misconduct,” she said.
“As a result, the C3I unit (Combined County Criminal Investigations – all of the Allegany County law enforcement agencies participate in this group) conducted a criminal investigation, which found no basis for criminal charges,” said Smith.
Smith also noted that another criminal investigation took place in which no evidence was found for a conviction, under her authority. She explained, “A separate administrative investigation, as outlined in the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights, Maryland state law, was conducted by a command staff member of the Cumberland City Police Department at my request. The administrative investigation did not sustain any allegations of misconduct either.”
It was originally reported by various media outlets, including the Associated Press, that the investigation would be handled by the Maryland State Police. However, the press release does not list the State Police as one of the parties involved in the investigation.
Chief Smith explained, “State Police troopers are members of the C3I unit, which may explain the reporting that State Police were investigating.”
In a press release, Senior Vice President Stephen Spahr stated, “We take any allegations of misconduct very seriously. We have an expectation of utmost professionalism from outer officers at all times. The integrity and credibility of the entire force is impacted by the actions of every individual officer, so our training and procedures are designed to support these goals. We express our gratitude to our regional agencies for their assistance”
Smith said, offering “It’s important that we maintain the integrity and professionalism of the department. As such, any complaints or information regarding officer misconduct will be thoroughly investigated.”
Chief Smith also tied the concerns of the police force in Ferguson to concerns about the police in Frostburg.
“I find the events in Ferguson troubling on a number of levels,” she said. “Underlying these events is the tremendous importance for law enforcement to maintain open communication and good relations with the communities that we serve. We at FSU PD work hard daily to achieve this, and we welcome feedback from our entire community.”
Chief Smith can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 301-687-4223, or if someone would like to make an anonymous report or statement, call 301-687-STOP (7867).
Officers can be reached around the clock at the station or at the emergency number, 301-687-4222 (non-emergency – 301-687-4223). She insisted that students should feel free to reach out to us at any time.