Harford County Sheriff's Office

With courage, honor, and integrity, we protect the rights of all citizens

 

Policies

This Manual sets forth standards, values, and expectations of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office and is the ongoing product of changing laws, practices and procedures that are integral to providing guidance and direction to every member of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office.

To the extent that Agency policy may contain provisions more restrictive than state or federal law, such provisions are not intended, nor may they be construed or applied, to create a basis for liability against the Sheriff’s Office or any of its employees.

The Harford County Sheriff’s Office policy manual is a living document that is subject to constant change. New laws, court decisions, methodologies and other factors dictate the need for a continual review of these policies, initiating revisions and additions where necessary and appropriate. The Harford County Sheriff’s Office has undertaken a comprehensive evaluation of our policies and will be adding additional policies as they are completed.

The Harford County Sheriff’s Office Manual is maintained by the Planning and Research Division.

01 Written Directive System and Communications

Document coming soon

02 Organization

ADM 0201 Organizational Structure

Purpose

To define and describe the organizational structure of the Harford County Sheriff's Office (HCSO).

Policy

The HCSO will maintain an organizational structure that is based primarily on function, responsibility or geography to promote the effective and efficient operation of the Agency.

ADM 0202 Organizational Direction

Purpose

To define and describe the organizational direction of the HCSO.

Policy

The HCSO will provide all employees with a detailed description of the HCSO command structure to ensure they understand their responsibility and authority within the Department.

03 Law Enforcement Authority

Document coming soon

04 Personnel Administration

Document coming soon

05 Employee Health

Document coming soon

06 Agency Vehicles

ADM 0601 Agency Vehicles

Purpose

To provide guidance to employees on proper vehicle use while on and off-duty.

Policy

HCSO employees will use vehicles in a manner that conforms to this policy.

ADM 0602 Agency Vehicle Crashes

Purpose

To provide Harford County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) employees with guidance on the proper procedures to follow when vehicles owned or leased by the HCSO or Harford County are being operated by HCSO personnel and involved in motor vehicle crashes.

Policy

All motor vehicle crashes of vehicles owned or leased by the HCSO or Harford County that are operated by HCSO personnel will be reported and investigated.

ADM 0603 Crash Review Committee

Purpose

To establish the Harford County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) Crash Review Committee and the position of Fleet Safety Coordinator.

Policy

To comply with the Harford County Risk Management Motor Vehicle Crash Prevention Program, the HCSO will establish the Crash Review Committee and the position of Fleet Safety Coordinator.

ADM 0604 Crash Preventability

Purpose

To provide Harford County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) personnel with a reference to determine crash preventability.

Policy

Supervisors and Division Commanders of the Harford County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) will evaluate each Agency vehicle crash to determine preventability using the guidelines established by the Harford County Sheriff's Office.

ADM 0605 Preventable Crash Management

Purpose

To establish procedures that will be followed whenever a Harford County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) employee is involved in a preventable vehicle crash.

Policy

The HCSO has established non-disciplinary administrative procedures to be followed when employees are involved in preventable vehicle crashes.

07 Accountability for Agency Property

ADM 0705 Lost or Damaged Equipment

Purpose

To provide Harford County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) employees with guidance on proper procedures regarding lost or damaged Agency equipment.

Policy

The Harford County Sheriff's Office will hold members accountable for Agency property and equipment used by and/or issued to them. Members are required to report lost or damaged Agency equipment in accordance with this policy without delay.

08 Budget and Finance

Document coming soon

09 Procurement Process

Document coming soon

10 Agency Buildings and Facilities

Document coming soon

11 Agency Computers

ADM 1105 Social Media-Social Networking

Purpose

To establish a policy regarding the use of online social media by Harford County Sheriffs Office (HCSO) employees.

Policy

HCSO requires employees using social media to maintain professionalism, while also recognizing that HCSO employees have a First Amendment right to post on social media matters of public concern so long as the posts are not made pursuant to official duties or do not adversely affect the HCSO's efficient provision of services to the public.

12 Public Information

Document coming soon

13 Planning

Document coming soon

14 Forms and Records Management

Document coming soon

15 Standing Committees

Document coming soon

01 Values and Rules of Conduct

PER 0101 Code of Conduct

Purpose

To describe the rules of conduct for all HCSO employees.

Policy

All personnel will obey the rules of conduct listed below.

PER 0102 Oath of Office

Purpose

To provide the Oath of Office that will be taken by all deputies.

Policy

All deputies will take and abide by the Oath of Office contained in this written directive.

PER 0103 Core Values

Purpose

To describe the core values of the HCSO and outline the employees' responsibility to uphold them.

Policy

HCSO will develop and preserve the public's confidence and trust in the HCSO disciplinary process.

PER 0104 Code of Ethics

Purpose

To provide all employees with information about the Maryland Public Ethics Law and to provide a Code of Ethics that will be followed by all deputies.

Policy

All employees will abide by the Maryland Public Ethics Law and all deputies will abide by the Code of Ethics contained in this directive.

PER 0105 Vision, Mission, Goals

Purpose

To describe the vision, mission and goals of the HCSO.

Policy

The HCSO will provide a description of the vision, mission and goals to all employees.

02 Disciplinary Procedures

PER 0201 Complaints Against Deputies

Purpose

To establish standard and consistent procedures for handling administrative complaints against sworn Law Enforcement Deputies and sworn Correctional Deputies.

Policy

The Harford County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) shall strive to ensure the highest level of integrity is achieved and maintained by properly receiving and investigating all complaints against sworn personnel in a thorough, fair, and expiditious manner.

PER 0202 Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights

Purpose

To provide Harford County Sheriff's Office employees (HCSO) with reference to the Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights (LEOBR) within the Manual of Operations.

Policy

The HCSO will include the current version of the LEOBR within the Manual of Operations.

PER 0203 Correctional Officer's Bill of Rights

Purpose

To provide the Correctional Officers' Bill of Rights (COBR) within the Manual of Operations as a reference.

Policy

The HCSO will include the current version of the COBR within the Manual of Operations.

PER 0204 Progressive Supervision

Purpose

To provide supervisors and deputies with information explaining the different types of supervisory and disciplinary procedures.

Policy

The Harford County Sheriff's Office will use a supervisory model for all deputies that is on a continuum that will provide a progressive approach to keep deputies focused and productive while deterring unwanted behavior.

PER 0205 Emergency Suspension of Police-Correctional Powers

Purpose

To describe the procedures to be followed when it becomes necessary to perform an emergency suspension of a deputy's police or correctional powers.

Policy

The Harford County Sheriffs Office (HCSO) may suspend a deputy ·s police or correctional powers when deemed to be in the best interest of the public and the HCSO. The process will be in accordance with the Maryland Code Annotated, Public Safety Article , Title 3 the Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights (LEOBR) and the Correctional Services Article, Title 11 the Correctional Officers· Bill Rights (COBR).

PER 0206 Penalty Assessment Guidelines

Purpose

The purpose of administrative discipline is to correct and educate employees for inappropriate behavior. The Penalty Assessment Guidelines will define the categories of infractions and violations therefore enabling the Harford County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) to handle discipline in a fair and equitable manner for all employees.

Policy

The Harford County Sheriff's Office will create Penalty Assessment Guidelines in an effort to establish general categories for infractions and violations of the rules and regulations to provide a framework for the purpose of providing consistent and fair penalties to all employees.

PER 0207 Penalty Assessment Matrix

Purpose

To provide a Penalty Assessment Matrix to all employees as a mechanism to enable the fair and equitable handling of employee discipline.

Policy

Commanders will be guided by the Penalty Assessment Matrix when determining disciplinary measures to be imposed for administrative misconduct. The Matrix is a framework for the purpose of providing consistent and fair penalties to all employees when necessary, unless adherence to the Matrix will result in an injustice to the Harford County Sheriff's Office or the employee.

PER 0208 Administrative Hearing Boards

Purpose

To provide Harford County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) personnel with procedures that will be followed when conducting an Administrative Hearing Board.

Policy

The HCSO will ensure that all administrative hearings are conducted in a timely, consistent and fair manner, and in accordance with the Annotated Code of Maryland, Public Safety Article, Title 3 the Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights (LEOBR) and the Correctional Services Article, Title 11 the Correctional Officers' Bill Rights (COBR).

PER 0209 Office of Professional Standards

Purpose

To describe the purpose and responsibilities of the Office of Professional Standards (OPS).

Policy

It is the policy of the HCSO to maintain the public's trust by policing itself through the use of the OPS.

PER 0210 Early Intervention Program

Purpose

To establish an Early Intervention Program for all employees of the Harford County Sheriff's Office (HCSO).

Policy

The Harford County Sheriff's Office will attempt to identify certain patterns of behavior and provide intervention in an effort to enhance progressive supervision with non-disciplinary remedies.

03 Fair Employment Practices

PER 0301 Sexual Harassment-Workplace Harassment-Discrimination

Purpose

To provide agency members with a workplace free from sexual harassment and discrimination and maintain a zero tolerance in dealing with any forms of sexual harassment, workplace harassment, or discrimination.

Policy

The Harford County Sheriff's Office prohibits discrimination and/or harassment based on age; ancestry; color; creed; gender identity or expression; genetic information; marital status; mental or physical disability; national origin; pregnancy; race; religious affiliation, belief or opinion; sex; or sexual orientation; or any other attribute protected by law.

PER 0302 Grievances

Purpose

To provide employees of the Harford County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) with guidelines regarding the use of the grievance process.

Policy

The Harford County Sheriff's Office will afford agency employees the opportunity to resolve issues that cause them distress, in a fair and equitable manner.

PER 0303 Domestic Violence and the Workplace

Purpose

To describe how the Harford County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) creates a supportive workplace environment so employees can report and discuss domestic violence incidents and issues.

Policy

The HCSO has a zero tolerance policy for domestic violence incidents and the workplace. The agency will take appropriate disciplinary action and pursue criminal prosecution against any employee or non-employee who threatens to commit, attempts to commit, or commits an act of domestic violence in county offices, facilities, work sites, vehicles, or while conducting any County business.

04 Recruitment and Selection

PER 0401 Deputy and Cadet Selection

Purpose

To establish and maintain a process to select the most qualified applicants to become Harford County Sheriffs Office (HCSO) deputies and cadets.

Policy

The HCSO is an equal opportunity employer and prohibits discrimination in recruitment based on race, creed, sex, age, color, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation or physical or mental disability. The HCSO will recruit and process all applicants who meet the minimum requirements for the position for which they are applying, with the goal of maintaining a highly-qualified, diverse workforce.

PER 0405 Volunteers in Police Support (VIPS)

Purpose

The Harford County Sheriffs Office (HCSO) may use volunteers to assist personnel with non-law enforcement functions.

Policy

The HCSO will encourage participation and partnership between the Harford County Sheriff's Office and the citizens of Harford County by using the services of citizens based upon their skills, training and availability to perform volunteer tasks under the direct supervision of designated Agency employees.

PER 0406 Volunteer Chaplain Program

Purpose

The Harford County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) will use chaplains to assist Agency personnel.

Policy

The HCSO will maintain the Volunteer Chaplain Program to provide qualified, confidential assistance to employees. their families and others through the use of volunteer clergy.

PER 0407 Explorer Program

Purpose

To describe the operational practices of Harford County Sheriffs Office (HCSO) Explorer Post #6600.

Policy

The HCSO Explorer Program offers youth an opportunity to learn about many facets of law enforcement. The program provides an opportunity for those interested to interact with and learn from Harford County Deputies. The program also provides an opportunity to learn the requirements to succeed in a law enforcement career and teaches the explorer about leadership, discipline, courage, honor, and integrity.

PER 0408 Student Interns

Purpose

The Harford County Sheriffs Office (HCSO) will partner with the educational institutions in our county, state and region to offer volunteer intern opportunities.

Policy

The HCSO is committed to developing partnerships with the educational institutions of the region by allowing students to participate in internships. The objective of the Student Interns Program is to provide a positive learning environment for interested students. Those participating in this program will experience various aspects and responsibilities of law enforcement and corrections.

PER 0409 Auxiliary Deputy Program

Purpose

The Harford County Sheriffs Office (HCSO) will use volunteers to assist personnel in non-law enforcement functions.

Policy

The HCSO encourages participation and partnership between the HCSO and the citizens of Harford County by using the services of citizens based upon their skills, training , and ability to perform volunteer tasks under the direct supervision of designated HCSO employees . The HCSO Auxiliary Deputy Program is intended to encourage the HCSO and the citizens of Harford County to collaborate to achieve the mission of the HCSO.

05 Transfers, Resignations and Retirements

PER 0501 Transfers of Deputies & Civilian Employees

Purpose

To provide members of the Harford County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) with guidelines regarding the procedures for Inter-Divisional, Intra-Divisional , Supervisory and Hardship Transfers.

Policy

The HCSO will maintain a consistent and fair process to transfer employees to serve the needs of the HCSO, the employee or the public as the Sheriff considers necessary.

06 Probation and Promotion

PER 0602 Promotional Process

Purpose

To provide members of the Harford County Sheriffs Office (HCSO) with guidelines regarding the procedures for promotion within the Agency.

Policy

The Harford County Sheriffs Office provides an equal opportunity for all of its members to compete and be considered for promotion. The components of its promotional process are non-discriminatory, are job-related and based upon business necessity. However, the process does not guarantee or create entitlement to promotion for any individual candidate.

07 Personal Appearance and Uniforms

PER 0703 Body Modifications

Purpose

To establish standards for acceptable and unacceptable body modifications applicable to all employees.

Policy

Deputies and civilian employees will present themselves in a manner that complies with this policy.

PER 0704 Quality Control

Purpose

To provide members of the Harford County Sheriff's Office with guidelines regarding internal quality control procedures.

Policy

The Harford County Sheriff's Office is committed to preserving the peace and providing a safe environment for all citizens of Harford County and visitors to our communities. To accomplish this, the HCSO the Office has established operating standards and will ensure the uniformity, quality, efficiency, and proper documentation of directives and procedures.

08 Academy, In-Service, and Career Development

PER 0801 Training Academy Operations

Purpose

To establish standard and consistent procedures regarding Training Academy operations and responsibilities.

Policy

The Harford County Sheriff's Office recognizes the vital nature that training has in the daily operations of any law enforcement agency. It is the goal of the Harford County Sheriff's Office to provide quality professional training that meets or exceeds the needs of its various law enforcement, corrections, and civilian personnel. In addition, the Harford County Sheriff's Office strives to ensure that the training provide is accurate, professional, timely, and safe.

PER 0802 Training Academy Instructors

Purpose

To establish standard guidelines and requirements for Training Academy Instructors.

Policy

HCSO Training Academy instructors will adhere to Agency policies and procedures and meet Maryland Police & Correctional Training Commissions certification requirements.

PER 0803 Entrance Level Training Academy

Purpose

To establish standard and consistent procedures for the planning of an entrance level training academy.

Policy

The Harford County Sheriff's Office is certified through the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commissions (MPCTC) to conduct entrance level training. The HCSO will adhere to the established guidelines and policies of the Agency and the MPCTC to foster a professional and safe learning environment for our trainees.

PER 0804 In-Service Training

Purpose

To establish standard guidelines and requirements for in-service training.

Policy

The Harford County Sheriff's Office will provide in-service training to members of the Agency.

PER 0805 Training Seminars and Training Requests

Purpose

To establish standard guidelines with regards to training seminars and training requests.

Policy

The Harford County Sheriff's Office may provide additional training opportunities to Agency members beyond required in-service training, after review by the member's chain of command and with careful consideration given to budgetary and manpower constraints.

PER 0806 Training Safety

Purpose

To establish standardized training safety guidelines.

Policy

The Harford County Sheriff's Office strives to provide quality and realistic training for Agency members without compromising safety.

09 Performance

PER 0903 Awards Review Committee - Awards Submission

Purpose

To establish guidelines for the Awards Review Committee and procedures for awards submissions.

Policy

HCSO will officially recognize and record outstanding performance by an employee or a group of employees.

PER 0904 Performance Awards

Purpose

To describe the performance awards issued by the HCSO.

Policy

It is the policy of the HCSO that outstanding performance by an employee or a group of employees be officially recognized and recorded.

10 Compensation, Benefits and Work Conditions

PER 1001 Secondary-Supplemental Employment

Purpose

To provide members of the Harford County Sheriffs Office (HCSO) with guidelines and procedures regarding secondary employment.

Policy

The HCSO will permit Agency members to engage in secondary employment, provided the secondary employment does not interfere with or negatively impact the member's ability to perform their assigned duties with the Sheriffs Office.

PER 1002 Leave and Modified Duty

Purpose

To provide members of the Harford County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) with guidelines regarding time off with or without leave, modified duty, and use of medications.

Policy

The HCSO recognizes and respects the value of its members. As such, part of the employment package includes time-off that shall be used according to the guidelines contained in this policy. In addition, the Agency values having the member at work and will strive to provide a period of modified duty when they are medically unable to perform the essential functions of their job.

PER 1003 Tuition Reimbursement

Purpose

To provide members of the Harford County Sheriff's Office with guidelines and procedures for participation in the employee Tuition Reimbursement Program.

Policy

The Harford County Sheriff's Office supports the efforts of individual employees to improve their job-related skills and knowledge by acquiring education necessar to enhance their skills or prepare for career-related promotional opportunities. Therefore, eligible employees will be reimbursed for educational courses related to the advancement of their education in pursuit of a Harford County Sheriff's Office work-related degree, contingent upon the availability of funds for the program. This program represents one element of the Office's investment in its workforce.

PER 1004 Salary Augmentation

Purpose

To provide Harford County Sheriffs Office (HCSO) employees with guidelines regarding salary augmentation.

Policy

The HCSO recognizes and respects the value of its members. As such. part of the employment package includes salary augmentation that shall be used according to the guidelines contained in this policy.

05 Firearms

OPS 0502 HCSO Issued and Approved Firearms and Ammunition

Purpose

To provide members of the Harford County Sheriff's Office with guidelines regarding Agency approved firearms, ammunition, and qualification procedures.

Policy

Deputies will carry, use, and maintain firearms in accordance with this directive.

OPS 0503 Qualification and Remedial Firearms Training

Purpose

To provide members of the Harford County Sheriff's Office with guidelines regarding qualification and remedial firearms training.

Policy

All deputies will qualify with issued and secondary weapons in accordance with this policy.

09 Traffic

OPS 0901 Traffic Enforcement

Purpose

To provide deputies with guidance for conducting traffic enforcement.

Policy

Harford County Sheriffs Office will ensure the safe and efficient movement of traffic through effective traffic enforcement.

OPS 0902 Traffic Stop Procedures

Purpose

To provide deputies with guidance on conducting traffic stops.

Policy

Traffic stops must be conducted in an unbiased, courteous, and professional manner and in accordance with all applicable law and policy.

OPS 0903 Stationary Enforcement Stopping Teams

Purpose

To provide Deputies guidance when conducting stationary traffic enforcement.

Policy

Deputies must conduct stationary enforcement and stopping teams in accordance with this policy.

OPS 0904 Traffic Citations

Purpose

To provide deputies with guidance when issuing traffic-related charging documents.

Policy

Deputies will issue traffic citations in accordance with Maryland law and Harford County Sheriffs Office (HCSO) policy.

OPS 0905 Written Warnings

Purpose

To provide deputies with guidance for issuing written warnings for traffic violations.

Policy

When a warning for a traffic violation is appropriate, deputies must issue a written warning to the violator in accordance with this directive.

15 Criminal Investigations

OPS 1503 Search and Seizure Warrants

Purpose

To provide deputies with guidelines to be used in the application for, and execution of, a search warrant.

Policy

Deputies must obtain and execute search and seizure warrants in compliance with the law and this directive.