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Official: State police ex-employee created explicit coin

June 9, 2022 GMT

BALTIMORE (AP) — An investigation has found that a former Maryland State Police employee created a challenge coin inscribed with the agency logo along with graphic imagery and offensive language, officials announced.

Col. Woodrow W. Jones III, the superintendent, said in a statement Wednesday that he was “disgusted” that anyone who wore the state police uniform would create something that “demeans others and disregards our core values.”

The Baltimore Sun reported last week that photos of the coin obtained by the newspaper show the state police insignia with images of female anatomy and references to people being offended. Challenge coins are tokens that people in organizations such as law enforcement collect to commemorate events or membership.

The department said last week that leaders became aware of this coin in January but they had not determined who was responsible. The former employee left the agency in 2012.

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The Coalition of Black Maryland State Troopers, the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives and others questioned what the coin said about the agency’s culture and whether the coin was a message to Black troopers who raised issues about racism.

Sgt. Anthony Alexander, the coalition’s president, said last week that the coin showed more change is needed to the agency’s culture.

“This action has disrupted our efforts to improve relationships among all our employees and with the citizens we serve,” Jones said in the statement.