Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett sent a check for nearly $300,000 back to Baltimore, declining reimbursement for the assistance officers from the Washington suburb gave the city during unrest last year.
Leggett sent a letter to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake this week, saying, "While we certainly appreciate the gesture, Montgomery County, like Baltimore City, is part of the great state of Maryland, and we accepted the call for assistance with the belief that the City would do the same for us in a time of need. Consequently, we are returning the check."
Montgomery joins Baltimore County in foregoing reimbursement for sending officers to assist the city when rioting and looting broke out in the hours after Freddie Gray's funeral. Gray, 25, died in April 2015 after sustaining a spinal cord injury in police custody.
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced in December that he wouldn't seek $257,000 in reimbursement from the city. He said at the time that the county offered assistance on an emergency basis.
"The city is our neighbor, and when a friend is down, you lend them a helping hand and help them step up," Kamenetz said then.
Anthony McCarthy, a Rawlings-Blake spokesman, said the city calculated the manpower and resources from surrounding jurisdictions at $2.1 million for the assistance in April and May 2015.
The Harford County fire department also declined reimbursement, McCarthy said. He did not immediately provide the amount.
The city has said the unrest cost $20 million. The Maryland National Guard and state troopers were also among the law enforcement members who were brought in to help.
"All of the jurisdictions who responded and provided aid and assistance during a challenging time in our City were generous," McCarthy said. "Some … further expanded this generosity by declining reimbursement. These thoughtful gestures recognize that our jurisdictions are stronger when we work together."
Baltimore police spokesman T.J. Smith said the department is grateful for the "generosity of our law enforcement partners."
"Ultimately, the citizens have an expectation of us as law enforcement to work together for their best interest," Smith said in a statement. "In this new age, we often share resources. … We also assist them when we can. Our collective goal is public safety and the more we can do that, together, the better."
Baltimore's check to Montgomery County, made out for $296,311.38, is dated July 19. The letter from Leggett was written Wednesday.
McCarthy said the delay in attempting to repay the county was based on when Montgomery submitted documentation on their deployment and the number of city agencies that had to review the paperwork.
Montgomery police deployed about 50 officers nearly every day between April 25 and May 3. Additional officers joined the force on May 1 and 2.
Montgomery County also has agreed to assist Baltimore by taking over an administrative review of six city officers involved in Gray's arrest and death. Montgomery is conducting the investigations, with the help of Howard County, at no extra cost to the city.
The officers — Lt. Brian Rice, Sgt. Alicia White and Officers Caesar Goodson Jr., Garrett Miller, Edward Nero and William Porter — would face discipline to be determined by Baltimore Commissioner Kevin Davis if Montgomery officials determine they are guilty.
A judge acquitted Rice, Goodson and Nero, prompting prosecutors to drop the remaining charges.