.05 Background Investigation and Criminal History.

A. Background Investigation.

(1) An agency head or authorized agency under §A(7) of this regulation shall perform a comprehensive background investigation to determine if an applicant:

(a) Is of good moral character and reputation;

(b) Is emotionally stable; and

(c) Displays the behavior necessary to perform the duties of a police officer.

(2) An agency head shall ensure that a background investigation includes:

(a) A check of military records, when applicable, including obtaining a complete copy of the discharge document;

(b) A report from a credit agency regarding the applicant's current and past credit history;

(c) An examination of school records or interviews with school officials if the applicant attended school within the last 5 years;

(d) Interviews of:

(i) Personal references furnished by the applicant;

(ii) Neighbors of the applicant within the past 5 years;

(iii) Current and past employers within the last 5 years;

(iv) Coworkers within the last 5 years; and

(e) An investigation of the prior use of controlled dangerous substances, narcotic drugs, and marijuana by the applicant as specified under Regulation .16 of this chapter.

(3) An agency head shall use the background investigation to determine whether information concerning the applicant's citizenship, mental and emotional fitness, and other information is valid and the applicant is otherwise capable of performing law enforcement duties.

(4) Interviews may be conducted:

(a) In person;

(b) By telephone;

(c) By using an agency form and questionnaire that the interviewer or individual interviewed is required to complete; or

(d) By using other lawful methods designed to elicit useful information from an individual concerning the applicant.

(5) Personal Interview.

(a) A personal interview conducted as part of a background investigation is considered appropriate when an interviewee is available within 50 miles of the law enforcement agency.

(b) Personal references and others residing outside the State may be contacted by correspondence or telephone.

(6) Out-of-State Applicants.

(a) When the applicant has resided or been employed out-of-State, the background investigation may be performed by an appropriate law enforcement agency or a legitimate private background investigation agency in that area where the applicant lived or worked outside the State.

(b) If an applicant has been employed as a police officer for the federal government or in another state, the agency head shall:

(i) Report the law enforcement agency's name and jurisdiction on the AFC; and

(ii) Forward with the AFC any supplemental information obtained from the previous out-of-State law enforcement agency or any other source.

(7) Investigations by Other Agencies.

(a) The hiring law enforcement agency may conduct the background investigation or may authorize another individual, office, or agency to conduct the background investigation.

(b) The Maryland State Police or a local law enforcement agency may assist the hiring law enforcement agency in the background investigation.

(8) If an applicant has received a special police commission, background information used during the investigation for the special police commission may be applied when the information meets the requirements of this regulation.

(9) An agency head hiring an applicant shall:

(a) Maintain a record of the background investigation; and

(b) Record the results on the AFC.

(10) Supplemental Information.

(a) If Supplemental information is developed, the agency head shall submit details with the AFC to the Commission.

(b) The Commission may refuse to certify the applicant based upon written verified supplemental information.

B. Criminal Record Checks and Fingerprints.

(1) An agency head submitting an AFC for an applicant to be certified as a police officer shall require that the applicant:

(a) Be fingerprinted; and

(b) Apply to the Criminal Justice Information System Central Repository of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services for a State and national criminal history records check.

(2) An applicant applying for a criminal history records check under this section shall request that the results of the criminal history records check be provided to the:

(a) Applicant;

(b) Commission; and

(c) Agency submitting the AFC for the applicant.

(3) Record of Criminal Conviction. If the results of the criminal history records check reveal that an applicant has been convicted or otherwise found guilty of a felony, or a misdemeanor for which a sentence of imprisonment for 1 year or more could have been imposed, the Commission shall include available information concerning the conviction with Commission records related to the applicant’s AFC.

(4) The Commission shall notify the applicant that the applicant may contest the contents of the criminal history records check in accordance with Criminal Procedure Article, Title 10, Annotated Code of Maryland.

(5) The Commission may refuse to certify an applicant based on supplemental information resulting from the criminal history records check or other verified reliable source.