Baltimore County: Pass a Strong Police Accountability Board

Act Now

Baltimore County residents scored a huge victory and got the County Council to postpone their vote on the Police Accountability Board bill! They heard us that there must be more opportunity for County residents to speak up. This is a critical moment and the County Council needs to hear from you.

Send a message to the Baltimore County Council urging them to:

  1. Publish the draft amendments today that they are considering to give residents time to review before the May 17 hearing.
  2. Accept the Baltimore County Coalition for Police Accountability's amendments to strengthen the draft PAB Bill 24-22.

There is a hearing coming up on Tuesday, May 17. Take action today and then join us at the hearing.

Message recipients:
Baltimore County Council members and County Executive

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Your Message
Use the form to send a message to your legislator.
Dear Baltimore County Council and County Executive,

As a Baltimore County resident, thank you for postponing the vote on Bill 24-22 to allow time for more community input on this critical bill to establish a Police Accountability Board. I was glad to hear of the Council's commitment to share the draft amendments to the bill before our next work session on Tuesday, May 17.

However, the public still does not have access to the amendments that the Council is considering. Please publish all draft amendments to the bill today. We must honor the intent of the Maryland Police Accountability Act by establishing a PAB through a transparent, participatory, and accountable bill-drafting process.

The Baltimore County Coalition for Police Accountability urges the council to accept the following amendments:

-Membership: The PAB’s membership must reflect the areas that have the most law enforcement encounters. And, in order to have a PAB that truly serves the community, retired members of law enforcement and their immediate family members should not be allowed membership.

-Investigatory Powers: The PAB needs investigatory powers so they can investigate complaints or incidents. Police cannot investigate themselves.

-Budget and Staffing: The PAB must have a sufficient budget to operate, which includes stipends for board members and independent staffing.

-Independent Legal Counsel: The board cannot be represented by the County attorney because they represent all County offices, including the Baltimore County Police Department. This presents an inherent conflict of interest. Surrounding counties such as Prince George’s County and Howard County are moving forward with independent legal counsel, a recommended best-practice by the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement.

I urge the County Council to make draft amendments available today for residents to review and adopt BCCOPA’s amendments.

Sincerely,

[First Name] [Last Name]

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