The Prince George’s County Council is in continued debate around legislation establishing the county’s police accountability board (PAB).
CB-021-2022, the legislation in question, has entered second reader after several hearings conducted by the Committee of the Whole. The Committee has adopted various amendments concerning the staffing and funding of the PAB, PAB eligibility, and the appointment process. The Washington Post reports that on Monday, June 6th, the Council “allowed themselves to select five members of the [PAB], while the county executive appoints the five other slots along with the board’s chair.”
In a quote reported by the Post, Council Member Todd M. Turner discussed the process of establishing a PAB:
‘I think we’ve just spent probably the last five hours going over this bill, amending this bill, asking questions about this bill, and I think … it’s going to be trial and error like any piece of legislation,’ Council member Todd M. Turner (D-District 4). ‘This is what democracy should be. This was about compromising.’
According to the Post, several advocates have raised concerns about a lack of community input in selecting PAB members and the Board’s structure and investigatory powers. Each county in Maryland must establish a police accountability board by July 1st, according to the Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021.