Review of Maryland State Police Spying Released - Southern Maryland Headline News

Review of Maryland State Police Spying Released

Former Attorney General Stephen H. Sachs Concludes Review; Maryland State Police to Accept All Recommendations

ANNAPOLIS (Oct. 1, 2008)—Governor Martin O’Malley and former Attorney General Stephen H. Sachs today released an independent review of the Maryland State Police surveillance activities from March 2005 to May 2006. The Governor and Mr. Sachs were joined by Maryland State Police Colonel Terrence B. Sheridan.

On July 31, 2008, Governor O’Malley appointed Attorney General Sachs to head an independent review to look into intelligence-gathering activities of the Maryland State Police. That review was conducted with the assistance of the Maryland Attorney General’s Office and the full cooperation of the Maryland State Police.

“Protecting the individual liberties of our Citizens is critical to preserving our Democracy and the public trust in our law enforcement agencies,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “I want to thank Attorney General Sachs for his professional and independent review of these activities, the Office of the Attorney General for their assistance, and the Maryland State Police for their full cooperation in this review.”

In submitting his report, Mr. Sachs wrote to Governor O’Malley, “I believe that this report is an accurate account of the operative facts of the events in question and the law and regulations applicable to the State Police’s conduct. The report also makes observations and recommendations that I hope you will find constructive.”

The report included a number of recommendations to ensure that safeguards are in place to protect the individual liberties of our citizens. All of these recommendations have been accepted by the Maryland State Police, including:

-- The Maryland State Police will formulate binding regulations that govern covert surveillance of “advocacy” or “protest” groups.

-- The Maryland State Police will establish standards for the collection and dissemination of criminal intelligence information; provide for periodic auditing of the contents of its intelligence database; and require that information inappropriately entered as criminal intelligence information be purged promptly and that other information be purged on an appropriate cycle.

-- The Maryland State Police will revise, and possibly discontinue, its use of the Case Explorer database in connection with its intelligence-gathering activities. If funds are available, the Maryland State Police will separate its criminal intelligence database from the information that it maintains in Case Explorer for other purposes, and;

-- The Maryland State Police will contact all individuals who are presently described in the Case Explorer database as being suspected of involvement in “terrorism,” but as to whom the Maryland State Police has no evidence whatsoever of any involvement in violent crime.

“I thank Attorney General Sachs and his team for their thorough work during this review, with which the Maryland State Police has fully cooperated,” Colonel Terrence B. Sheridan said. “I have reviewed the report and agree with the four recommendations. I am already working to implement some of the recommendations and will be identifying appropriate means to apply the rest. The Maryland State Police priority will be to ensure the civil and constitutional rights of all the citizens we serve are protected.”

The full report by Mr. Sachs can be found at

Source: Gov. O'Malley's Office


Maryland State Police Spied on Citizens, Says ACLU, July 18, 2008

Advocacy Groups Delve Deeper Into State Police Spying, Sept. 30, 3008

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