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

Change in Management at NBCI following investigation into officer stabbing
Investigation confirms policy of employee threat notification not followed

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Towson, MD (Aug. 26, 2013) – The Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) today announced the removal and reassignment of the Chief of Security at North Branch Correctional Institution (NBCI). This action came because the officer was not notified of the threat as required by policy.

Departmental policy spells out an action plan that is to be followed when the threat becomes known, including notifying the threatened employee, contacting the DPSCS Internal Investigative Unit (IIU), and taking action necessary to protect employees and staff.

The ongoing investigation has uncovered several deficiencies in how senior level staff at the institution followed the notification policy.

“As a former correctional officer, I know that nothing is more important to this Department than the safety and security of our staff,” said Deputy Secretary for Operations J. Michael Stouffer. “When policies are not properly followed, officer safety is compromised. Discipline must be swift and severe for those employees who do not adhere to policy when doing so results in injuries to staff.”

While the investigation did reveal failure on the part of NBCI security staff to comply with the notification policy, the evidence confirmed that the failure to notify the officer was inadvertent and not the result of intentional misconduct.  The former security chief will remain employed with the Department but will be reassigned. 

The investigation is continuing and the Department expects to announce additional disciplinary action.