Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner Proposes Legislation To Increase Police Accountability

A board will be created to handle misconduct complaints.

Frederick, Md. (NS) – Legislation is being written to increase accountability in policing for Frederick County.

During a public information briefing on Thursday, County Executive Jan Gardner said the action is required by the Maryland Police Accountability Act.

“The law requires every county in the state to establish a Police Accountability Board and to do so no later than July 1, 2022. So to accomplish this deadline, we really want to start now to engage the public and municipalities and the County Council in that process,” said Gardner.

She said the board will review complaints from the public on any misconduct by law enforcement and maintain transparency in the disciplinary process.

A complaint will be sent to the appropriate law enforcement agency where an investigation will be done.

The results then will be sent to a charging committee, which includes the chair of the Accountability Board, and disciplinary action will be recommended when appropriate.

The board will also be tasked with identifying any trends and recommending policy changes.

Currently, the proposed bill, which is a work in progress, has 5 people on the board.

“There is some recommendation from municipal leaders and the Sheriff suggesting a larger board of 7 members with guaranteed representation from one person from each of the smaller towns,” Gardner said.

A town hall for January 24th at 7 p.m. has been scheduled for public input.