The union that represents Anne Arundel County's upper police ranks plans to run a radio ad beginning Thursday in support of the department's second-in-command, who has called for a federal probe of the department and said the force is "dysfunctional."
The International Brotherhood of Police Officers, which represents Anne Arundel's police lieutenants and sergeants, paid for the ad that trumpets Deputy Police Chief Lt. Col. Emerson C. Davis as having taken a "brave stand" by testifying in front of the County Council about alleged improprieties by his superiors.
The minute-long radio spot features a woman's voice recorded over subtle horn music.
It begins: "When leaders like Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold are charged with breaking the law, where do you turn? When leaders like Police Chief James Teare seem to care more about their own power than the safety of the people they've sworn to protect, what do you do? You stand by people like Anne Arundel Deputy Police Chief Emerson Davis."
Last week, Davis answered questions in front of the council as part of an inquiry into pending criminal charges against County Executive John R. Leopold. Though he had not been subpoenaed, Davis testified under oath.
During his testimony, Davis called on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate alleged police misconduct related to a criminal indictment against Leopold.
"This is not just about the [security detail]. This is about the supervisors and the leaders of the Police Department," Davis told the council. "This is one of the biggest black eyes we've had on the department in the 35 years I've been here."
Police Chief Col. James E. Teare Sr. had previously appeared before the council but refused to answer most questions posed. He appeared in response to a subpoena and was under oath.
Leopold, a Republican, was charged in March with directing his taxpayer-funded security detail to perform personal and political tasks, including transporting him to sexual rendezvous with a county employee and compiling dossiers on his political foes. He has vowed to fight the charges and remain in office.
Teare has not been charged but the indictment of Leopold alleges that Teare was aware of some of the allegations but took "no effective action."
Dave Abrams, a spokesman for Leopold, said, "It is clear that this is an organized effort by a labor union to bully an elected official who chooses taxpayers' interests over special interests and a respected chief who has served his community with honor. The citizens see right through this smear campaign."
A spokesman for the police department did not immediately respond to phone and email inquiries Wednesday night.
The union said in a statement Wednesday that it plans to run the ad on three Baltimore-area radio stations, two FM and one AM, for several days.