Sine Die Surprise: General Assembly Approves Police Accountability Board Fixes

In the waning moments of the 2022 Maryland General Assembly Session, the Maryland General Assembly passed Senate Bill 763 – Public Safety and Criminal Justice – Transparency and Accountability containing multiple provisions addressing county police accountability boards.a statue of justice with her scales and blindfolded

The bill contains nearly all of the measures included as amendments to Senate Bill 389 – Maryland Police Accountability Act Revisions and Clarifications, which were detailed in a previous Conduit Street blog. SB 763 also includes language from previous iterations of the bill concerning the publishing of criminal case data online. The police accountability board measures incorporated into the bill would:

  • 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.

Unlike SB 389, SB 763 does not delay the effective date of the Police Accountability Act’s complaint review process from July 1, 2022 to October 1, 2022. Moreover, the bill wholly incorporates Senate Bill 896 – State Government – Attorney General – Independent Investigations Division, which would establish a new unit under the Attorney General’s Office to investigate police misconduct. SB 763 now awaits the Governor’s signature.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2022 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.Learn more about MACo’s 2022 Legislative Initiatives.Read more General Assembly News on MACo’s Conduit Street blog.