Police Accountability Board
Update: January 3, 2022 Press Release
Update: December 18, 2021
PATF-HoCo is pleased to indicate that the Howard County Council voted unanimously in legislative session on December 6 to table consideration of Bill 83-2021, in order to allow sufficient time for consideration by County Leadership of inputs from the community relating to the establishment of the Police Accountability Board.
PATF-HoCo has very carefully considered the proposed Police Accountability Board (PAB) legislation (Bill 83-2021) and 6 amendments submitted by County Executive Calvin Ball, as well as what is required to enable the PAB to faithfully represent the Howard County community in matters of police misconduct and to position it to make substantive improvements in police transparency and accountability. We find the proposed legislation to be seriously flawed, and, consequently, we have developed a set of recommendations and additional amendments to the PAB legislation. Among other changes, our recommendations provide for a public process for selecting members of the board to reflect fully the diversity of our County, with the ability for county residents to submit nominations; and invest the PAB with the power that it needs to fully represent the interests of the community in achieving true police transparency and accountability.
To assist you in reviewing our recommendations, we have provided (see below):
1. A Table of PATF-HoCo Recommendations, which (i) concisely summarizes our recommendations; (ii) also summarizes our recommendations relating to Amendments 1-6 to Bill 83-2021 submitted by the County Executive; and (iii) compares and highlights differences between PATF-HoCo’s recommendations and the original bill/amendments submitted by the County Executive.
2. Attachment A - a set of sample Amendment documents (in legislative format) that would implement PATF-HoCo’s recommendations, including 5 new amendments (Amendments 7-11).
We fully agree with the statement from Dr. Ball, when he submitted Bill 83-2021, that, “This Board is an important tool to engage our residents in matters of policing and adds another layer of accountability.” We believe we have a tremendous opportunity to put in place a best-in-class Police Accountability Board that will drive police accountability, enhance the effectiveness of law enforcement, and improve public safety in our County.