Press Release
State of Maryland
Department of Public Safety & Correctional Services
Communications Office Contact
Mark Vernarelli
410-339-5065 ~ mvernare li@dpscs.state.md.us

DPSCS Probing Apparent Threat Letter In Wake of Officer’s Assault Yesterday

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TOWSON, MD (August 6, 2013)---The Department's thoughts are with the injured officer and his family and we are thankful the injuries he sustained were not life-threatening.

DPSCS has a policy regarding threats against staff and takes such matters very seriously.  This policy spells out an action plan that is to be followed when the threat becomes known, including notifying the threatened employee, contacting the IIU, and taking action necessary to protect employees and staff.

Preliminary investigation has revealed that a threat against the injured officer was made, and that the employee may not have been notified of the threat as required by the policy. Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken if staff are found to have violated the notification policy. 

Given the seriousness and sensitivity of this matter we will not disclose any further information until the investigation has concluded.  

Here are some important points about security in the facility and across the system.

NBCI/DPSCS Safety

Throughout the recent incidents (beginning in late June), NBCI has either been on lockdown status, employed sectional or tier lockdowns, or utilized modified inmate movement schedules and activities as necessary. 

Contrary to claims made, DPSCS has not changed the way it counts assaults. DPSCS has tracked assaults on staff using the same American State Correctional Administrators counting rules for assaults since 2003.

Through FY 2013, that focus on safety has helped DPSCS drive down serious assaults on staff by 60% since FY2007 throughout the system.

Between CY 2009 – CY 2013 at NBCI, total assaults on staff (serious and less-serious) have been driven down 24%.

Since 2009, there have been seven serious assaults on staff, resulting in injuries needing more than basic first aid. There have been just two serious weapons assaults.

CO Staffing

Better, safer institutions and recruitment efforts have helped keep vacancies down.

While there are 129 fewer CO pins than there were in 2007, when you factor in vacancies, we are actually staffed higher on monthly average than we were in 2007.

This is due to better management, better use of hard data (StateStat), and smarter utilization of custody staff posts.

CO I, II, III positions (these are direct front line custody positions, not kitchen/commissary/maintenance staff, which are also COs but are not direct custody):

  • DPSCS-wide FY2007 – 6,344 with avg. of 585 vacancies or per month or 9.2%. That = 5,759 avg. monthly staff.
  • DPSCS-wide FY2011 – 6,214 with avg. of 120 or 1.9%. That = 6,094 avg. monthly staff.
  • DPSCS-wide FY2012 – 6,215 with avg. of 142 or 2.3%. That = 6,073 avg. monthly staff.
  • DPSCS wide FY2013 – 6,216 with avg. of 140 or 2.3%. That = 6,076 avg. monthly staff.