Montgomery Mulls Removing Police from Traffic Enforcement

Police Cars Flashing LightsCouncil Member has called for a study to determine whether traffic enforcement responsibilities can be shifted from the police department to other county agencies.

The effort, spearheaded by Council Member Hans Reimer, follows a recent report by the Montgomery County Office of Legislative Oversight finding racial disparities in police enforcement and nationwide discussions on the scope of law enforcement accountability and responsibility.

The Washington Post reports:

Montgomery appears to be the only jurisdiction in the Washington metro region targeting traffic enforcement in policing, though the District last year moved automated enforcement from police to the transportation department.

County officials say they would start by similarly shifting responsibility for speeding and red light cameras away from the police department — if it’s allowed under state law — then evaluate what other functions could be performed by civilians. They also want to rely more on cameras at traffic stops for driving enforcement, since personal bias is less of a factor in automated systems.

The article notes that the County Council plans to hold a virtual town hall in September for the public to provide feedback on the issue.

For more information:

Should police be in charge of traffic enforcement? In a suburb beset by racial inequities, lawmakers aren’t sure. (The Washington Post)

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