New bill introduces community policing guidelines

I-270

ROCKVILLE, Md. (WDVM) — Montgomery County lawmakers introduced a new bill on Tuesday that will establish new policing and reporting guidelines for the community.

Bill 33-19 was introduced by Council President Nancy Navarro and Councilman Craig Rice in an effort to improve transparency and accountability within the Montgomery County police department. 

“We feel as though a lot of areas of our community do community policing well but realize we can be doing an even better job especially at a time in which tensions between our police and community are at an all time high nationwide,” councilman Rice said.

Within the last two years, Montgomery County Police have been accused of racial profiling and use of excessive force. This past May a white female police officer was caught on body camera using a racial slur during a loitering investigation. Councilman Jawanda also spoke out in June this year to discuss his experience with Maryland State Police when he was allegedly racially profiled when he was pulled over for a traffic stop. In 2018, an unarmed black man, Robert Lawrence White was shot by a Montgomery County police officer. 

Bill 33-19 will create the following policing guidelines:

  • Officers must regularly engage in activities within the community
  • MCPD must provide training in de escalation techniques
  • MCPD must enforce cultural competence throughout the department 
  • Increase in community outreach initiatives
  • Officers should attend community events on behalf of the department

Along with the new policing guidelines officers would be required to report the following:

  • Total number of general officers including racial minority officers and female officers
  • The number of recruiting events the Department sponsored
  • Number of instances where use of force resulted in hospitalization 
  • The number of civilian complaints about the use of force by an officer
  • Number of officers suspended with and without pay
  • The number of kids under age 18 referred to intervention programs by an officer
  • A description of the Department’s community policing efforts including policing programs, participation in town hall meetings and efforts to engage in the community

According to Montgomery County, there are currently no measures in County law providing guidance on community policing. This bill is scheduled for a public hearing on January 21, 2020.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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