Prince George’s County Council approves plans for Police Accountability Board

The Prince George’s County Council on Monday approved a plan to publicize the nominations process and “listening sessions” for the nominees to the Maryland county’s Police Accountability Board.

At a virtual meeting called during the council’s recess, members agreed to the plan to publicize the nominations process, but several voiced concerns about transparency and the opportunity for public input.

The state-mandated board will consist of five members nominated by the council and six members — including the chair — nominated by County Executive Angela Alsobrooks.

During the public comment portion of Monday’s council meeting, Lorena Diaz, with the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland, was concerned about whether systems were in place “to ensure all applications are given due consideration.”

Dannielle Glaros, the council member whose district includes Riverdale Park, New Carrollton and Landover Hills, expressed concern regarding potential confusion, given that there are two places one could apply to be on the board: “I think this could be really confusing to the public, to have two different processes moving forward.”

She also expressed concern that the public might not get adequate notification of deadlines for applying: “I think we need to be clear about how long this has to be advertised before the nominations closed.”

Council member Jolene Ivey commented that the council had in previous sessions “punted” on moving ahead with the process, putting pressure on the members to act.

County council administrator Robert Williams Jr. told the council members, “The council should be reminded, we have a very, very tight window for both the PAB process” and the creation of an administrative charging committee. “You’ve got to get that done before the council recesses again on Oct. 25.”

Along with Diaz, from the ACLU of Maryland, county resident John Spillane spoke during the public comment section of the meeting, telling the council that it should create “community oversight” for the membership selection process. “The current resolution as written, doesn’t do that. In my opinion, it’s too vague,” Spillane said.

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.

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