Wicomico State’s Attorney Calls for Citizen-Run Police Oversight Boards

As reported in Delmarva Now:

The county’s top prosecutor on Monday called on the county’s two busiest police agencies — the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office and the Salisbury Police Department — to form a panel to study the idea.

State’s Attorney Matt Maciarello’s push represents the most tangible action taken so far after a string of violent —sometimes fatal — interactions between police and citizens in Wicomico. He also urged police to start wearing cameras on their bodies to record interactions with the public.

“It’s a ‘who’s watching the watchman’ situation,'” Maciarello said at a news conference at his office in downtown Salisbury.

Like many boards, the one suggested by Maciarello would make recommendations to the head of the department, who would have the ultimate say over an officer’s penalty. He said he would leave it up to the city and county whether to create a joint board or separate ones.

Such details could be discussed in a “blue-ribbon panel,” he said. The governments also need to consider whether it’s worth the cost.

Wicomico Sheriff Mike Lewis immediately embraced the oversight board and body cameras proposals. Meanwhile, the city of Salisbury is already working to equip its officers with cameras, but Mayor Jim Ireton said he strongly opposes a panel “second-guessing” the department’s work.

For more information read the full article in Delmarva Now.

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