Sen. Benson ready to approve new state police chief after dispute is resolved

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By Daniel Menefee

State Police Chief Marcus Brown

State Police Chief Marcus Brown

The dispute with the state police that led Prince George’s County Sen. Joanne Benson to stall the confirmation of Acting Maryland State Police Superintendent Marcus Brown last week has been resolved, and Benson said she will vote for his permanent appointment Friday.

“I held things up last week because I felt the process was moving a little too slow in trying to settle it,” Benson said.

She said she was trying to resolve a dispute between two troopers over a traffic stop in her county last year.

Benson praised Brown for resolving the matter and said she would “definitely” vote for Brown’s appointment. (UDATE: Benson missed Friday’s confirmation vote because she was attending a wake of a supporter in her district, she said. Brown was confirmed unanimously.)

“He’s wonderful,” Benson said.

The dispute arose when one of Benson’s constituents was about to be towed after a traffic stop for an alleged tag violation, when a second trooper pulled up and disagreed with the first trooper about the car being towed. The second trooper apparently knew the driver of the car that was pulled over.

Benson said the issue between the two troopers centered around the vehicle being on private property.

“Things just got out of control,” Benson said. She said the first trooper later accused the second trooper on the scene with “interference” in a traffic stop.

She said that a meeting with Brown and the two troopers Wednesday brought resolution to the matter.
“Everything is settled,” Benson said.