AFSCME Maryland Members Rally After Fellow Parole and Probation Agent Davis Martinez’s Death

Over 100 union members call for improved safety protocols, safer staffing levels, and accountability from state leaders during rally outside Catonsville District Court

Baltimore, MD – On Tuesday, June 11, over 100 AFSCME Maryland Council 3 members rallied outside of the Catonsville District Court to call attention to the immediate need for improved safety protocols, safer staffing levels, and accountability from state leaders following the horrific killing of Parole and Probation Agent Davis Martinez on Friday, May 31 during a regularly scheduled home visit.

Leaders from AFSCME Local 3661, whose membership is made up of parole and probation staff from across Maryland, kicked off the rally. Denna Avila, a Drinking and Driving Monitor for the State of Maryland and executive board member of AFSCME Local 3661, led a moment of silence in honor of Agent Martinez, stating, “Agent Davis Martinez was known to many and was a proud member of AFSCME Local 3661. He was kindhearted and always willing to help others. He was a beloved colleague, and his loss will leave a forever scar on the hearts of many.”

For over a year leading up this tragedy, leaders of AFSCME Local 3661 repeatedly brought up health and safety concerns in meetings with leadership from the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) and the Division of Parole and Probation (DPP).

“On April 27, 2023, we held our first Community Corrections Labor Management Committee Meeting. We alerted DPSCS Secretary Carolyn Scruggs about the health and safety issues we were facing. We provided her with two thick booklets that contained all the emails, grievances, and documentation we had regarding the sheer negligence of former P&P Director Martha Danner & Executive Deputy Director Walter Nolley. Our concerns were dismissed. On September 18, 2023, on January 8, 2024, on February 27, on March 4, on April 1, we tried to discuss our concerns. And time and time again, our concerns were dismissed. And on May 31, just over a week ago, our cries and concerns became our reality,” said Rayneika Robinson, President of AFSCME Local 3661.

During the rally, AFSCME Maryland members listed a series of demands, including the following:

  • Fully virtual home visits until a new home visit policy is negotiated with the union.
  • Immediate implementation of virtual office visits until security has been addressed for those working in offices outside of courthouse settings. Across the board, all customer-facing state offices lack proper office security protocols and staffing.
  • Thorough review of current DPP procedures, equipment, and worksites by a third-party along with transparency with the union and input from the union as well as a third-party investigation into the institutional problems that led to the killing of Agent Davis Martinez.
  • Distribution of proper protective equipment, including properly fitted bullet proof vests and non-expired mace/pepper spray. DPSCS must conduct an immediate inventory of protective equipment to ensure all staff have the proper resources to do their jobs.
  • Being equipped with the tools, trainings, and proper safety protocols that will allow staff to safely avoid and/or remove themselves from dangerous environments.
  • Safe staffing levels so staff can conduct home visits in pairs.
  • Access to mental health services that can assist staff with processing the ongoing dangers they face.
  • A seat at the table to develop policies, procedures, and practices that keep staff safe.

“We will not let Agent Martinez be forgotten. This should be a wake-up call to all the other state agencies in Maryland that they need to keep their employees, our members, safe. When your staff raises concerns and health and safety issues with you, you MUST address them. You must work out a solution and next steps for everyone’s safety before it is too late,” said Patrick Moran, President of AFSCME Maryland Council 3.

About AFSCME Maryland Council 3
AFSCME Maryland Council 3 represents nearly 45,000 public service workers at the local, city, county, state, and higher education levels who provide the valuable public services that our communities rely on. From Western Maryland to the Eastern Shore, we make Maryland happen.