LEONARDTOWN, Md. – On Thursday, September 7, 2023 a panel of Maryland police officers came together to recommend the termination of Dep. John Fenwick from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office.
Fenwick, who has been with the department since 2014, was found by the panel to have violated Standards of Conduct 319.5.8, which states, “failure to disclose or misrepresenting material facts or making any false or misleading statement on any application, examination form or other document, report or form, or during the course of any work-related investigation.”
In addition, Fenwick also admitted to committing a body camera violation.
The final decision on whether or not to terminate Fenwick now falls to St. Mary’s County Sheriff Steve Hall. This is a decision that Fenwick is not allowed to appeal.
The reason for this ruling stems from an incident that took place on February 3rd of this year.
According to an anonymous tip, two children had been left unattended in a vehicle parked in front of Planet Fitness at the Wildewood Shopping Center.
Fenwick spoke to the vehicle’s owner at around 9:00 PM that day. According to her, the children, ages 5 and 7, for only a few minutes. Fenwick informed her that they had actually been in there for more than 20 minutes.
Rather than filling out a report on the incident, Fenwick simply wrote five sentences onto his CAD (computer-aided dispatch system), one of which read “The female was with the children and dog leaving the parking lot.”
“This was clearly calculated to disguise the fact that this was child neglect,” said prosecutor Kevin Karpinski. “I think what the board has is a deputy who didn’t want to take the extra step.”
Karpinski also added that Fenwick had done the same thing in May 2022, when he failed to file a report involving an incident of sexual assault and burglary in a hotel.
Fenwick’s attorney, Shaun F. Owens, pleaded with the panel to let Fenwick keep his job.
“He needs to get his act together with his report writing and the details…I don’t think there’s always a need to go straight to termination.”
Fenwick refused to testify during the hearing.
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