Reporting Rochelle Ritchie
GLEN BURNIE, Md. (WJZ)–A student at Glen Burnie High School finds a camera in the boy’s bathroom. Now Anne Arundel County Police are investigating one of its own.
Rochelle Ritchie has more.
The camera was installed without permission by a 14-year veteran with the Anne Arundel County Police Department. What was on the camera and why he installed it remains under investigation.
Students at Glen Burnie High School are stunned to learn a trusted Anne Arundel County police officer is under investigation, accused of putting a camera in a boy’s bathroom at the school.
“That’s an invasion of personal privacy right there. I don’t like that. That’s crazy,” said Devin Willey, student.
Police say the discovered device is a standard sized hand-held camera left in plain sight. Wednesday morning, a male student saw it in the top corner of the restroom, found it suspicious and reported it to school administrators.
“We do not know that the officer’s intentions were,” said Lt. T.J. Smith, Anne Arundel County Police. “That’s an important issue that we’re trying to get to the bottom of.”
A police investigation revealed a 14-year veteran assigned with the Special Services Bureau purchased and installed the camera on his own without the knowledge of the police department or school officials.
“The police officer’s police powers have been suspended,” Smith said.
Police are not naming the accused officer and say no images have been found on the camera as of yet.
Anne Arundel County school officials say all schools in the county have been searched, and this is an isolated incident.
“The principal ordered staff to look at every single bathroom in all of the buildings in Glen Burnie High School, all the locker rooms, all the team rooms, all those places to make sure there were no other cameras, no other recording devices. Those sweeps yesterday and this morning turned up nothing,” said Bob Mosier, Anne Arundel County Schools.
Like many, students are wondering what, if anything, is on the camera, and if they were recorded.
“I would feel terrible, like feel bad if some of my privacy would be affected,” one student said.
Students were sent home with letters for their parents. Police say this is now a criminal and administrative investigation.
The police officer under investigation has been placed on routine paid administrative leave.