Counties Support Creation of Police Retention Workgroup

On February 1, 2023, Associate Policy Director Sarah Sample testified before the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee in support of SB 0018 – Police Retention Workgroup with amendments.

As of writing, the bill’s cross-file, HB 0308, will be considered by the House Appropriations Committee on February 7, 2023.

This bill would establish a Police Retention Workgroup to study the factors that have potentially contributed to the current, statewide decline in police officer retention. As a regular collaborator with local law enforcement agencies across the state, the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) is particularly sympathetic to the challenges facing Maryland law enforcement. MACo supports the passage of SB 0018, but urges the General Assembly to consider an amendment to include in the work group a representative of a police department in a large county jurisdiction and a representative of a sheriff’s department in a jurisdiction where the sheriff’s department serves as the primary law enforcement agency

From the MACo Testimony:

Staffing shortages have created complications across many sectors but few pose a comparable and immediate threat the way law enforcement shortages do. Vacancies, in conjunction with the percentage of employees eligible for retirement, paint an even more disturbing picture of the crisis. Including law enforcement officers in this workgroup can only enhance the group’s effectiveness and outcomes. County law enforcement officers are on the ground every day facing these retention challenges head-on – they see the workforce shortages juxtaposed with the evolving needs and challenges of their communities. These day-to-day, lived experiences of law enforcement are the clearest lens to bring these issues into focus for a capable, diverse, and well-meaning workgroup of stakeholders.

More on MACo’s Advocacy:

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2023 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database

Learn more about MACo’s 2023 Legislative Initiatives

Read more General Assembly News on MACo’s Conduit Street blog