MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md (WDVM) – The Montgomery County Reimagining Public Safety Task Force and County Executive Marc Elrich held a virtual forum Thursday to discuss community feedback on police.
County executive Elrich opened the meeting and said too many social issues like homelessness and mental health have unnecessarily become the responsibility of the police.
“They became police problems,” Elrich said. “Because we had these problems, and we never stood up in our existing institutions or created new institutions that would be able to address these problems in the realm in which they need to be addressed.”
The group discussed the preliminary results of a community survey, which included feedback on the level of responsibility police have for various services like domestic violence, traffic enforcement, and assault.
Another section included respondents who selected departments to receive MCPD funds if they were reallocated.
“Top priorities noted by respondents were divided across topics including health and human services, education, housing, fire and rescue, transportation, and corrections and courts,” Montgomery County Assistant Chief Administrative Officer Caroline Stergis said.
Executive Elrich says the task force will continue to take public comment as they discuss further options and recommendations for future changes.
“That’s why this committee was created,” Elrich said. “To provide that kind of input, and we’re going to look really closely at what folks have to say.”
The task force is currently scheduled to provide Elrich with recommendations for the Montgomery County Police Department and all public safety programs by January 18, 2021.