He’s concerned about police reform legislation passed during the 2021 General Assembly.
Frederick, Md (KM) A Frederick Police officer and former member of the House of Delegates is running again. Bill Folden has filed run as a Republican in the 4th District. He served at a Delegate for District 3B from 2015-2019.
Folden says he’s concerned about police reform bills passed by the 2021 General Assembly which could make it more difficult for police officers to do their jobs. “When we got law enforcement officers that we want to defund, they want to take money away from. We don’t have the tools that we need currently. And we can’t be in a position to provide services to the community that we all love with even less,” he says.
Calls for police reform began last year following the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, which was captured and video and posted l on line where it went viral. . That sparked demonstrations all over the country, and calls to defund the police.
The police officer involved in Floyd’s death, Derek Chauvin, was convicted, and sentenced to more than 22-ears in prison.
The police reform bills past in 2021 by the Maryland Legislature repeal the Law Enforcement Officer’s Bill of Rights, call for a statewide policy on the use of force and limit the use of no-knock warrants. They also expand public access to records in police disciplinary cases, and require all police departments to use body cameras by July, 2025.
The bills were vetoed by Governor Larry Hogan, but the General Assembly overrode those vetoes.
Folden acknowledges that some police officers have not always done the job the way they should. “There’s been officers that obviously have made mistakes and done the job the wrong way.. But I would put overall the profession of law enforcement and those professionals–men and women who go out each day, put on that badge and gun, and go out and try to keep out community safe–I would put those up against doctors, lawyers,” he says.
If he’s elected, Folden says he will still continue his work as a police officer. “Those who still know me, I’m still an active police officer. I always maintained that employment while I was in the House of Delegates before. We are a citizen legislature, and I believe in that. I don’t believe in the idea of people going down there and take it as a full time job,” he says.
District 4 is currently represented by Delegates Barrie Cilliberti, Dan Cox and Jesse Pippy. Delegate Pippy has decided to run for the State Senate seat being vacated by Michael Hough, whose running for County Executive.
By Kevin McManus