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Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich Releases Preliminary Audit Report of Montgomery County Police Department

For Immediate Release: Thursday, July 1, 2021

Virtual Community Forum to Discuss Report: Wednesday, July 7, 2021

On June 30 Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich was joined by County Council President Tom Hucker, County Councilmember Will Jawando; Willie Parker-Loan, assistant police chief, Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD); Lee Holland, vice president, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 35; and David Douglass of Effective Law Enforcement for All, Inc. (ELE4A) for the release of a preliminary audit report of the Montgomery County Police Department. The audit is an important milestone in the County Executive’s Reimagining Public Safety Initiative, which launched in 2020. The release of the preliminary results of the audit precedes a community forum where residents will have the opportunity to provide feedback about the audit to the County Executive and Police Chief Marcus Jones. The Reimagining Public Safety Community Forum will take place on Wednesday, July 7 at 6 p.m. via Zoom

“Today is an important step forward in our effort to reimagine public safety and our police department,” said County Executive Elrich. “Montgomery County has a good police department.  Any good organization should always look at itself and determine what changes need to be made to meet the current and future challenges it faces. We are a diverse County, and we need to ensure that all our residents have confidence that people who are sworn to protect them will do just that. Reimagining is not a buzz word. It is essential to building a department of the future. This work cannot wait, and we now have a roadmap to a better tomorrow.”

ELE4A partnered with Montgomery County to identify, evaluate, and recommend structural and systemic changes necessary to achieve a shared vision for reform and innovation in our community. This report provides an evaluation of the organization’s structure, culture, polices, procedures, and resources. The report offers recommendations for improving public safety through best practices for Montgomery County. This preliminary report discusses ELE4A’s review of the organizational structure of the Montgomery County Police Department, its internal affairs system including approaches to handling uses of force, mental health response, recruitment and hiring, and assessment of the training Academy. This preliminary report is a draft; the MCPD audit is still underway. A final report is expected to be released in the fall.

"Montgomery County Police Department acknowledges the excellent work thus far provided by Effective Law Enforcement for All regarding the current audit," said MCPD Police Chief Marcus Jones. "The department continues to assist with an in-depth view and analysis of the policies, practices, and procedures for effective police reform of this agency. We are committed to be a better police department and providing excellent police service for everyone."

On July 1, 2020, County Executive Marc Elrich announced his vision to reimagine public safety in Montgomery County, with the goal to create a more equitable and inclusive county by promoting safe neighborhoods and communities that are better for all residents. A key goal of this review of MCPD is to help Montgomery County evaluate the Police Department’s leadership, education, accountability, and practices. As the County considers the current organizational culture, policies, resources and procedures, the audit’s recommendations improvements to both existing and future public safety standards through implementing improved standards for policing as you envision it for your community.

Key recommendations from the preliminary audit report include:

  • Determine a single repository for use of force and internal affairs incidents;
  • Investigate all use of force incidents;
  • Expand the role of Internal Affairs to include investigating criminal misconduct of officers instead of assigning this to investigators in the Investigative Services Bureau;
  • Develop a Force Investigation Team within Internal Affairs to conduct serious uses of force investigations and review;
  • Develop a system to conduct criminal and internal investigations as parallel investigations; New Maryland State Law will change processes for investigating officer-involved shootings effective October 1, 2021;
  • Revise MCPD use of deadly force investigation policies and protocols to require a prompt, separate, parallel administrative investigation of each officer-involved shooting, and require the preparation of a report documenting investigative findings;
  • Identify and define what a serious use of force is;
  • Allow the Districts to review only those less serious use of force incidents;
  • The Internal Investigative Review Panel should broaden their role when convening on force matters, and determine if force incidents raise policy, training, equipment or tactical concerns, and record outcomes;
  • Define a Departmental standard on what is expected to be included when conducting district level force investigations;
  • Require administrative intake to be recorded;
  • Provide training to District supervisors in force investigations and hold them accountable for evaluating their officers’ videos with a critical eye;
  • Initiate an internal auditing protocol for body-worn cameras (BWC) and other force related videos;
  • Consider issuing BWC to Special Assignment Teams;
  • Consider if officers working off duty employment should be required to wear BWC for certain assignments; and
  • Implement an Early Warning & Intervention System for MCPD employees.

The preliminary audit report can be accessed hereRegistration for the July 7 community forum is also open.

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Release ID: 21-526
Media Contact: Barry Hudson 240-300-7348