FREDERICK, Md. – After collaborating with municipal elected officials and law enforcement leaders, Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner today unveiled legislation to establish a Police Accountability Board. The Board would be charged with overseeing the process for complaints of misconduct made against law enforcement officers who serve in Frederick County’s four local law enforcement agencies: the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, the Frederick (City) Police Department, the Brunswick Police Department, and the Thurmont Police Department.
The Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021 requires every county in the state to establish a Police Accountability Board no later than July 1, 2022. Local legislation is needed to define the membership and reporting requirements of Frederick County’s board. Members will be required to go through training provided by the Maryland Police Training and Standards Commission. Many of the details and processes are required by the State law.
“The bill I am proposing balances the competing interests,” Executive Gardner said. “The public deserves an open, transparent process for their complaints, and officers deserve a fair review process.”
A public process will be used to gather input on the legislation before it is officially introduced. The legislation may be modified based on additional input before the bill is finally introduced in February. Executive Gardner will host a virtual Town Hall on the proposed legislation on Monday, January 24, at 7 p.m. to engage the general public. Each of the municipalities with a police force will hold workshops with their governing boards. The Frederick County Council will hold a workshop on the bill on January 11.
The Town Hall will be aired on FCG TV cable channels 19/1085 and streamed live from the County website at FrederickCountyMD.gov/FCGtv. In addition, members of the public can provide comment by calling toll-free 1-855-925-2801, meeting code 3267. Callers should press *1 to listen to the town hall and *3 to enter a queue where they can listen to speakers while waiting for their turn to speak.
A copy of the draft legislation is available for review on the County’s website at FrederickCountyMD.gov/Executive.