On Thursday, October 21st, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball pre-filed legislation to establish a Police Accountability Board.
The proposed board would include five voting members appointed by the Howard County Executive and Council. Two non-voting designees of the Chief of Police and the Sheriff would also serve on the board. The board would, in part, be charged with receiving complaints of police misconduct filed by members of the public and reviewing outcomes of disciplinary matters.
County Executive Ball said the following of his proposal in a press release:
“Focusing on public safety and reinforcing public trust remains a priority of my administration, and this Police Accountability Board is a critical component to ensure transparency. This Board is an important tool to engage our residents in matters of policing and adds another layer of accountability.”
Howard County Police Chief Lisa Myers added:
“Our police department anticipates the creation of an independent accountability board to reassure the community that they are served by an agency of integrity and equity. We have long-held policies of zero tolerance for misconduct and are committed to operating with transparency. We welcome an independent board to observe first-hand the high standards we hold for every officer and share with us if there are any situations in which they believe we are not living up to those principles. As an organization, we expect no less from every member.”
The proposed Police Accountability Board legislation would ensure Howard County’s compliance with the Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021, HB 670, passed earlier this year by the Maryland General Assembly. The proposal follows recent announcements concerning body worn cameras, also required by state law.