Three bills introduced to comply with Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021 (PGC Council)
This week County Executive Angela Alsobrooks presented three bills to the Prince George's County Council, a bill which would implement laws being enacted due to the passage of the State of Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021.
The first bill, CB-022-2022, would dissolve the Citizen Complaint Oversight Panel. The County Executive notes in her letter that the reasoning behind dissolving the Citizen Complaint Oversight Panel is that most of the panel's current responsibilities will be performed by either Police Accountability Board or the Administrative Charging Committee, two groups required to be created to comply with State law.
The second bill, CB-023-2022, repeals the County code section about the "use of force" by the County's Police Department. The Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021 has a Use of Force Statute that will govern the use of force by police officers in the County. The updated Maryland Use of Force statue can be found here.
The third and final bill County Executive Alsobrook presented to the Council is CB-021-2022. which establishes the required boards and committees, specifically the Police Accountability Board, the Administrative Charging Committee, and the Trial Boards included in the Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021. CG-21-2022 also covers other general provisions and incorporates state mandates for law enforcement, including but not limited to:
requirements to forward certain police investigations files to the administrative charging committee
Establishing a trial board process,
Adoption of the unified State discipline matrix
The Police Accountability Board will be made up of eleven members nominated by the County Executive, subject to confirmation by the County Council. The County Executive will nominate the Chair of the Board who has relevant experience to the position, such as working with a criminal justice agency and/or community service organization. It is also mandated that the members of the Board reflect the racial, gender, and cultural diversity of the County. CB-021-2022 also identifies who can not be a member of the Police Accountability Board.
Those ineligible to be on the Police Accountability Board include:
An active police officer
Employee of the Prince George's County government
Employee of the Office of the Sheriff of Prince George's County
Employee of a municipality located within Prince George's County
Employee of Maryland State government
An elected official or candidate for political office within the County government
State government or municipality within Prince George's County
The Administrative Charging Committee will be made up of five members, which will include:
The Chair of the Board or another member of the Board as designated by the Chair;
Two civilian members who are not members of the Board, nominated by the County Executive and confirmed by the County Council; and
Two additional civilians who are not members of the Board but are appointed by the Board. 29
The Trial Board for each law enforcement will be made up of three members that will include:
An actively serving or retired administrative law judge or a retired judge of the District Court or a circuit court appointed by the County Executive
A civilian appointed by the Board who is not a member of the ACC or the Board; and
A police officer of equal rank to the police officer accused of misconduct was appointed by the chief of the law enforcement agency for which the accused police officer was employed at the time of the alleged misconduct.