On Thursday, May 5th, the Board of Carroll County Commissioners voted on a resolution establishing its police accountability board (PAB) as required by state law.
Each county in Maryland is required to create a police accountability board by the 2021 Police Accountability Act. Under the Act, PABs comprised of entirely of civilian members are charged with meeting quarterly with law enforcement leadership to improve matters of policing and to hear complaints of police misconduct.
Each county must establish a police accountability board by July 1st of this year. Additionally, each county must establish a charging committee, on which the police accountability board chair will sit, to review police misconduct complaints and determine whether a police officer should be administratively charged, thereby triggering a PAB hearing.
The Baltimore Sun reports Carroll County approved its police accountability board resolution by a vote of 3-1, with one commissioner absent from the proceedings. The dissenting commissioner voted to oppose the resolution because of a provision preventing police accountability board members from having a pending criminal charge or previous state or federal criminal conviction. State law is silent as to the criminal backgrounds of PAB members. Several commissioners expressed the need to have PAB members with impeccable backgrounds considering the sensitive matters they will be reviewing.