CLPA Policy Staff
Police Transparency and Accountability Bill Has First Reading in PGC Council
CB-056-2023, known as "Community Policing Data and Reports," was recently presented to the Prince George's County Council by Councilmember Burroughs. The bill aims to enhance transparency and accountability within the Prince George's County Police Department by mandating the Department to provide specific data. The bill encompasses a broad range of police activities that would necessitate reporting.
Some examples include reporting on:
Department's demographic composition,
Incidents involving the use of force,
Complaints against police officers,
Demographic information regarding individuals stopped (including a stop and frisk that does not result in a citation or arrest), searched, cited, arrested, or the subject of a use of force incident by the Department.
Trust and cooperation are critical for effective policing, and this law outlines several measures to strengthen this relationship. These measures include providing de-escalation training, expanding community outreach initiatives, and prioritizing recruiting candidates with local ties. CB-056-2023 also contains guidelines for community policing, emphasizing the importance of establishing strong relationships between the police and the community they serve.
Another notable part of the proposed law is the provision for the police department to conduct an annual anonymous survey of residents and officers to gather feedback on police-community relations. This feedback will help gauge the community's perception of the police department and identify areas needing improvement.
The proposed law also requires the police department to maintain public datasets related to a myriad of police activities. Such activities include use-of-force incidents, field interview reports, juvenile citations, and arrests. Having this information be accessible to the public allows Prince George's County residents to understand the Department's operations better and hold them accountable for their actions.
Lastly, the law instructs the Prince George's County Police to publicly disclose any written agreements it has entered into with property owners concerning enforcing trespass laws. Thereby promoting greater transparency in enforcing these laws and assuring that property owners are conscious of their rights and responsibilities.
After its official presentation to the Council, CB-056-2023 was referred to the Health, Human Services and Public Safety Committee.