Montgomery Council Approves Police Transparency Measure

On Tuesday, November 2nd, the Montgomery County Council unanimously passed Bill 45-20, which is intended to create additional transparency within the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) regarding the race, ethnicity, gender and other voluntarily provided information about residents involved in policing actions.Seal of Montgomery County, Maryland

The measure, in part, would:

  • Require MCPD to report demographic information about residents stopped (including a stop and frisk that does not result in an arrest) to the Council by Feb. 1 annually.
  • Require MCPD to maintain data on race and ethnicity, use of force incidents, criminal citations and juvenile citations, among others, and to post the data on its web portal.

The lead bill sponsor, Montgomery County Council Member Will Jawando, explained the purpose of Bill 45-20 in a press release:

Montgomery County Council Member Will Jawando

“Making good policy requires good data,” said Council Member Jawando. “If Montgomery County is going to be on the forefront of fair and equitable policing, that means we must also be on the forefront of collecting the information necessary to inform our decision-making as policymakers. I’m thrilled about passage of this legislation which will require collection of disaggregated data related to stop and frisks, trespass orders and other measures, greatly improving our ability to understand how Montgomery County Police interact with members of our community.”

Council Member Jawando has played a pivotal role in several police-related reforms in Montgomery County including independent investigations into deaths involving police officers and policies protecting against excessive force. Councilmember Sidney Katz, Council President Tom Hucker and Council Vice President Gabe Albornoz also served as lead sponsors on Bill 45-20, with all other council members joining as co-sponsors.

Read the full press release.