Reforms target Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights (LEOBR) as well as police accountability, transparency, uniformity, and community relations.
The Public Safety and Policing Work group held its final meeting Monday adopting over 20 recommendations for reform.
Over the past six months the work group held meetings and public forums to address in more depth specific issues impacting law enforcement and the communities they serve. The 22 recommendations that were discussed are intended to be introduced as legislation during the 2016 General Assembly session.
Recommendation highlights include:
- Extending the LEOBR complaint filing deadline from 90 days to a year and a day.
- Reducing the time period for retaining an attorney under the LEOBR from 10 days to 5 days.
- Standardizing, streamlining and publicizing the public complaint process in each jurisdiction.
- Opening LEOBR hearing board proceedings to the public and allowing trained citizens to sit on the administrative boards.
- Establishing whistleblower protections for officers who participate in investigations or raise issues for investigations.
- Creating of an independent Maryland Police Training and Standards Commission (MPTSC) that would implement and oversee a number of additional recommendations such as early intervention policies for officers who have received multiple citizen complaints; modernizing recruitment standards and practices; establishing standards for mandated periodic psychological evaluations for officers; and developing community policing and police complaint mediation programs.
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 the LEOBR, officer training, hiring practices, training requirements, community relations and accountability. The bipartisan group consisted of 10 senators and 10 delegates from across the state that met periodically over the interim to generate recommendations for reform.