Public Safety and Policing Panel Debates ’10 Day Rule’ and Other Officer Protections

The Public Safety and Policing workgroup met in Annapolis earlier this week. Much of the workgroup’s meeting focused on discussing proposed recommendations for the General Assembly. These included potential changes to police training procedures and entities, whistle blower protections, States’ Attorney investigations of officers within their jurisdictions, statutory prohibitions on collusion, increased transparency and altered composition of trial boards, and mandates on police use of force reports.

A significant amount of time was spent debating recommendations that would reduce the Law Enforcement Officer’s Bill of Rights “10 day rule”, a rule that prevents an officer accused of misconduct from being interrogated for 10 days while the officer finds representation.  As reported in The Washington Post:

On Wednesday, Del. Curtis S. Anderson (D-Baltimore), a co-chair of the workgroup studying ways to improve police accountability and police-community relations, asked the members of the panel to take an informal vote on whether the number of days should be dropped to seven, five or three days.

Four members favored five days, eight wanted three days and two pushed for seven.

Anderson said a possible compromise would be five days.

No final vote was taken Wednesday as the group moved on to other topics while it weighs its recommendations for the General Assembly to take up when it reconvenes in January.

As the article notes no final votes were taken on any of the proposed recommendations that were discussed and the workgroup will continue to weigh their options. The next meeting is scheduled for November 24 at Morgan State University. The workgroup’s report is due in December.

As previously reported on Conduit Street, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael. E. Busch formed the work group, co-chaired by Senator Catherine E. Pugh and Delegate Curt Anderson, to study issues including officer training, hiring practices, community relations and accountability.  The bipartisan group is made up of a 10 senators and 10 delegates from across the state.

For more information read the full article in The Washington Post and previous coverage on Conduit Street.