But Frederick Police say they’re ready to assist if a request comes in.
If Baltimore erupts into rioting following a not-guilty verdict for Officer Edward Nero, the Frederick Police Department says it can provide assistance in restoring order to Charm City. “We’ve been in constant communications with them over the last couple of weeks, preparing for this day that the verdict would be reached,” says Lt. Clark Pennington with Frederick Police.
On Monday, Judge Barry Williams found Officer Nero not-guilty of misconduct in office and reckless endangerment in connection with the death of Freddie Gray. The Associated Press reports that there were some peaceful demonstrations outside the courthouse in Baltimore, but no rioting.
Last year, Baltimore erupted in violence following the death of Freddie Gray while handcuffed and shackled but left unrestrained inside a police van.
Nero was one of five other offices charged with Gray’s death. The trial of Officer William Porter on manslaughter charges ended in a hung jury.
Since the rioting, Baltimore has signed mutual aid agreements with other jurisdictions, including Frederick city and the County Sheriff’s Office.
Lt. Pennington says the Frederick Police have a group of officers who are ready to go if Baltimore asks for assistance in restoring order due to a riot or other disturbances. “This is a contingency platoon, mainly made up of officers who adjust their schedules so they can attend, or they’re off duty,” he says.
“There are several different plans that could take place. One is to call in additional units to be in the city on immediate standby should something arise. However, they’re on site. We are not one of those platoons. We have requested to only be a contingency platoon that if they do need immediate assistance, they’ll call us,” says Lt. Pennington.
But right now, he says, that call has not come from Baltimore. “We are going to remain in Frederick, business as usual, just on standby. Should something occur in Baltimore where they need additional assistance, they’ll give us a call,” says Lt. Pennington.
And if that happens, Lt. Pennington says, there will be plenty of officers in Frederick to patrol the streets. “We take all of that into account that if we do send officers to Baltimore, we’re not going to leave the streets of Frederick unprotected and unpatrolled,” he says.
Last year, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office sent deputies and correctional officers to Baltimore to help restore order when rioting occurred after the death of Freddie Gray.