City Police Officer Peter Kemeza has been dispatched to desk duty after a mother claims he blew off her two children who sought his assistance after being approached by an unknown male near Waltersville School last Monday.
Gloria Byfield complained to police after learning her frightened 13-year-old daughter had approached traffic officer Kemeza who was in his patrol car assigned to Waltersville School. The officer allegedly responded he was off duty and directed the teen to go home.
Kemeza was ordered to desk duty on Monday pending an investigation by the Office of Internal Affairs.
“The investigation is underway and is a priority for the Office of Internal Affairs,” said Assistant Police Chief James Nardozzi in a statement. “We teach our kids to go to a police officer if they are scared or in trouble. I taught that to my son. Investigators are still gathering the facts, but I can’t stress enough how seriously we take these allegations.”
According to police, detectives have gone door-to-door in the East Side neighborhood looking for potential witnesses or any home or business that might have a video security system. Police also have increased the police presence, both with squad cars and unmarked vehicles.
“Our top priority has been and will be keeping our children safe,” said Nardozzi.