A veteran Anne Arundel County police officer who admitted placing a camera in a boys bathroom at Glen Burnie High School told investigators that he was trying to deter smoking of marijuana and cigarettes there, according to police reports.

The officer was identified in the reports as the school resource officer, Allen Marcus, a 14-year veteran of the department. He had been placed on administrative leave during the investigation and has been reassigned to a patrol unit, according to a spokesman.

Spokesman Justin Mulcahy said the department could not discuss any possible discipline of the officer, and that Marcus would not be authorized to discuss the case.

Marcus was not criminally charged in the March 20 incident, in which the camera was placed near the ceiling in the bathroom in the media building. Police said the camera had been in plain view, and was incapable of recording images.

School administrators told investigators they were unaware of the camera until they heard about it from students, according to the police reports. Marcus then told them he put it up to deter problem activities, according to the investigative report.

The report says student advocate Michael Rudd told a detective he had helped Marcus get a ladder to put up the camera, and that Marcus "told him he wanted to hide a camera in the restroom to keep an eye on a student" who he suspected of dealing drugs.

The camera apparently went up shortly after 10 a.m., according to the report. Marcus told investigators he wanted to give students a chance to see it, and that after hearing students talking about it around 10:40 a.m., he went to remove it, according to the investigative report.

Marcus told investigators that he believed the camera would be illegal only if it was recording, and " he knew the camera would not record because the memory card was not installed," the investigative report says.

Rudd continues to work at the school, said Bob Mosier, school system spokesman. He said he could not discuss an investigation he said was done regarding Rudd. "It was handled appropriately," he said.

Mosier noted that school bathrooms are places where "illicit activity" by students is more likely to occur because they offer privacy.

"They have been that way since there have been bathrooms in schools," he said. However, he said, there are school security cameras in hallways.

The police investigation information was first reported by The Capital, which it obtained through a Public Information Act request.

andrea.siegel@baltsun.com

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