Police accountability bill goes before Montgomery Co. Council for final reading

Montgomery County Council President Gabe Albornoz said it’s important that the public and police have faith in the bill that creates the county’s Police Accountability Board in the Maryland county.

It’s part of a statewide police reform requirement that each county form a panel that handles complaints about police conduct.

Maryland lawmakers passed a series of laws last year aiming to improve police accountability and make for a greater public voice in the disciplinary process. Among other measures, the Maryland Police Accountability Act — enacted despite a veto from Gov. Larry Hogan — gives each county until July to form committees for local oversight of law enforcement conduct.

Recent changes at the state level meant that the county’s bill would have to be amended, including the effective date of the bill from July 1 to Oct. 1.

Another issue council members are discussing is how much board members should be compensated. The county’s Police Advisory Commission recommended last February that PAB members should be compensated comparable to the salaries of other paid commissions in the county.

Another recommendation is nine voting members instead of the five, so as to “properly represent the diverse range of community interests in the County.”

“It’s important that the members of our public and community have faith in this process, but also members of law enforcement,” Albornoz said.

A final reading of the bill is scheduled for Tuesday.

Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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