Update on Police Accountability Act Revisions

The General Assembly has contemplated several fixes to the major reforms included in 2021’s Police Accountability Act- several of those fixes will be included as amendments to Senate Bill 389 – Maryland Police Accountability Act Revisions and Clarifications.

In addition to several body-worn camera-related reforms, county officials had been awaiting the introduction of a bill shoring up the Police Accountability Act’s provisions regarding police disciplinary matters. SB 389, as introduced, had originally been titled, “Public Safety – Maryland Police Training and Standards Commission,” and focused mostly on expanding police training curriculums.

The amended bill strikes all of its original provisions and would, instead, do the following:

  • Delay the effective date of the Police Accountability Act’s complaint review process from July 1, 2022 to October 1, 2022;
  • Require the police disciplinary matrix to apply to both external and internal complaints;
  • Modify the composition of Baltimore City’s trial board for police disciplinary matters;
  • Clarify the composition of a statewide or bi-county trial board for police disciplinary matters;
  • Set a deadline (45 days) for when a trial board must report its findings;
  • Clarify statewide appeals processes for law enforcement officials; and
  • Prevent the alteration of police disciplinary processes through collective bargaining.

The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee voted favorably with amendments on SB 389 on Thursday, March 24th. It will now go before the entire Maryland Senate for a vote.

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