Civilian Panel to Review Findings of Police Misconduct Investigations And Determine Whether to Discipline Officer
FREDERICK, Md. – Five Frederick County residents have been appointed to serve on the County’s newly established Administrative Charging Committee. The Committee fills a key role when a complaint is filed against a local law enforcement officer, as required under Maryland law. The Administrative Charging Committee will meet at least monthly to review the findings of law enforcement agency investigations to determine if it is appropriate to administratively charge a law enforcement officer who is the subject of investigation.
When a person lodges a misconduct complaint against a law enforcement officer, the complaint is filed with the Frederick County Police Accountability Board. The Board forwards the complaint to the appropriate law enforcement agency to investigate. The findings are presented to the Administrative Charging Committee for review. The Committee determines whether to administratively charge the accused officer and, if so, what disciplinary actions should be taken.
The Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021 required every county to establish a similar process. Frederick County’s process applies to law enforcement officers who are employed by the Brunswick, City of Frederick or Thurmont police departments or the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office.
“On behalf of the Police Accountability Board, I want to thank each of the 18 Frederick County residents who applied to the Administrative Charging Committee,” said Board Chair Dawn Oram. “We appreciate each of the residents and their desire to be a part of our continued efforts to build trust between communities and law enforcement agencies in Frederick County. We believe these individuals will bring increased accountability and transparency that will improve our law enforcement agencies and public safety in Frederick County.”
The Administrative Charging Committee consists of the chair of Frederick County’s Police Accountability Board (PAB), or their designee, as well as two appointees of the County Executive and two appointees of the Board. Members should have familiarity or experience within the legal field, the behavioral health field, social services, human resources or personnel management, the operation of a government agency, criminal justice agency, or community service organization.
In addition to PAB Chair Oram, the inaugural members of Frederick County’s committee include:
· Theresa Bean of Thurmont (2-year term, appointed by the PAB) brings diversity coupled with an extensive background as a former career prosecutor, trial lawyer, defense attorney, and local and national lecturer.
· Howard Cox of Frederick (2-year term, appointed by the County Executive) brings federal law enforcement experience, including roles where he conducted internal investigations of misconduct complaints.
· Kevin Grubb of Jefferson (1-year term, appointed by the County Executive) has extensive knowledge of the community, having served on the Frederick County Ethics Task Force, the Frederick County Mental Health Advisory Board, and as Deputy Chief of the Frederick Police Department.
· John Shatto of Frederick (1-year term, appointed by the PAB) is a court and human services professional committed to providing an unbiased forum for the community, with experience working Members must complete State-mandated training from the Maryland Police Training and Standards Commission before reviewing any specific cases. That training is slated for mid-December.
The Administrative Charging Committee will meet at least once a month. The committee will meet at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 30. This meeting will be held in the first floor hearing room at Winchester Hall, 12 East Church Street, Frederick.