County Executive Marc Elrich will hold a virtual roundtable discussion next week on the recommendations contained in the Reimagining Public Safety Task Force Report released yesterday.
Elrich appointed a group of 45 volunteer community members, 35 county representatives, and technical consultants last year. The task force was asked to address social and racial injustices in the county and to make recommendations about how to deliver services more equitably.
“The 87 recommendations detailed in the report represent the voices of community members and offers opportunities for the County to address an unjust system by rebalancing County investments in promoting safe communities to those more appropriate in serving that need, including additional resources for education, housing, employment, healthcare, social-emotional supports, and other public benefits,” according to a press release.
Some of the highlights from key recommendations include (quoting from the report):
- Adopt at least one model that addresses public safety and crisis intervention situations by leading with mental health, mediation, and trauma-informed practices.
- Direct the State’s Attorney Office to evaluate Montgomery County policies regarding citations in lieu of arrests for minor offenses.
- Train Emergency Call Center/311 operators to identify community needs that may be handled by non-law enforcement personnel to reduce law enforcement footprint.
- Require all police recruits, sworn police officers and other emergency personnel to receive enhanced Crisis Intervention Training to provide more effective outcomes.
- Enhance the collection, utilization and availability of data disaggregated by race, ethnicity and gender, and public availability of data to support informed decision-making
- Ensure that policing by consent and the “guardian” culture are institutionalized with the Department. Enhance accountability and establish goals for hiring, promotion, and advancement that support change in culture, and
- The county should move to fully (or expanded) automated traffic enforcement through expansion of speed and intersection camera programs, and reduce FTE sworn officer positions across MCPD districts in proportion to the amount of officer time currently spent on in-person traffic enforcement by sworn officers.
In addition, the task force recommended the elimination of school resource officers by supporting Bill 46-20. This legislation, currently under consideration by the County Council, would eliminate the SRO program. Proponents also recommend redirecting SRO funding to increase counseling and mental health resources in schools.
The virtual roundtable will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 9.
Members of the public can watch the meeting and submit questions during the event. Along with Elrich, Councilmembers Gabe Albornoz, Tom Hucker, Will Jawando and Sidney Katz are scheduled to participate, and member of the task force have been invited as well.
Interested participants will need register for the meeting in advance online.
Screenshot of the task force report cover