J. THOMAS MANGER, et al.
FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE, MONTGOMERY COUNTY LODGE 35, INC
from the Circuit Court for Montgomery County. Joseph M.
BY: Erin J. Ashbarry (Marc P. Hansen, County Attorney, Edward
B. Lattner, Chief Division of Government Operations on the
brief) all of Rockville, FOR APPELLANT
BY: Margo Pave (Zwerdling, Paul, Kahn & Wolly, PC on the
brief) all of Washington, D.C. FOR APPELLEE
BEFORE Wright, Arthur, Zarnoch, Robert A., (Retired,
Specially Assigned), JJ. Opinion by Zarnoch, J.
Md.App. 144] Zarnoch, J.
Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights ("
LEOBR" ), enacted in 1974 and presently codified at
Maryland Code (2003, 2011 Repl. Vol.), § § 3-101
through -113 of the Public Safety Article (" P.S."
), provides procedural protections for law enforcement
officers under internal investigation. At issue in this
appeal is the requirement that a police department keep a
" complete record" of any interrogation of a police
officer facing potential disciplinary proceedings.
See P.S. § 3-104(k).
Md.App. 145] In late 2014, appellant, the Montgomery County
Police Department (" MCPD" or the "
Department" ) altered its interrogation policy to
utilize video recording technology to keep a complete record
of interrogations of officers. When three officers were
notified that they had been scheduled for interrogation,
appellee, the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 35 (the "
FOP" ), filed a show cause petition on behalf of the
officers in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County to enjoin
the Department from keeping a video record of the
interrogations. After a hearing, the circuit court found in
favor of the FOP, ordered the officers' interrogations to
proceed without video recording, and issued an injunction
prohibiting video recording of other officer interrogations.
Department appealed and presents one question for our review:
Does the LEOBR's requirement that a law enforcement
agency keep a " complete record" of its
interrogation of a law enforcement officer, which " may
be written, taped, or transcribed," limit the law
enforcement agency to using audio tape and forbid the law
enforcement agency from using video tape to record the
we find nothing in the LEOBR that bars a police department
from using a video recorder to keep a complete record of an
interrogation conducted pursuant to the LEOBR, we reverse the
judgment of the circuit court.
police officers employed by Montgomery County Police
Department came under internal investigation in early 2015,
after an arrestee filed a complaint against them. Before this
investigation began, J. Thomas Manger, Chief of Police for
the MCPD, in a memorandum dated November 24, 2014, directed
the Internal Affairs Division to begin " video as well
as audio recording of interrogations pursuant to LEOBR Sec.
3-104(k)(2)." Prior to this time, interrogations were
audio recorded only. Before the interrogation could take
place, the FOP filed a show cause petition in the circuit
court on behalf [227 Md.App. 146] of the three officers under
investigation. The contested provision, §