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Press Releases - County Council

Public Safety Committee and joint Health and Human Services and Education and Culture Committee hold virtual meetings on July 22

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, July 21, 2021

The Public Safety (PS) Committee will meet on Thursday, July 22 at 9:30 a.m. to review Bill 18-21, Police - Internal Affairs - Procedures and Reporting Requirements, to improve transparency and police accountability.

The members of the PS Committee include Chair Sidney Katz, Council Vice President Gabe Albornoz and Council President Tom Hucker.

The joint Health and Human Services (HHS) and Education and Culture (E&C) Committee will meet at 1:30 p.m. to receive a briefing on newly arriving unaccompanied children and families seeking asylum in Montgomery County and a proposal that provides a framework for better serving those newcomers who have already arrived. The joint Committee will also review a $5,118,805 Special Appropriation to the FY22 Operating Budget to provide funds for the proposed framework.

The members of the HHS Committee include Chair and Council Vice President Gabe Albornoz and Councilmembers Evan Glass (Lead for Homelessness & Vulnerable Communities) and Craig Rice.

The members of the E&C Committee include Chair Craig Rice and Councilmembers Will Jawando (Lead for Libraries) and Nancy Navarro.

Bill 18-21, Police - Internal Affairs - Procedures and Reporting Requirements

Review: The PS Committee will review Bill 18-21, Police - Internal Affairs - Procedures and Reporting Requirements. Introduced by lead sponsor Council President Hucker, the purpose of the bill is to improve police accountability through the random review of body-worn camera footage and through the prompt reporting of serious Internal Affairs Division (IAD) investigations. Councilmembers Jawando, Riemer, Glass, Navarro and Rice are cosponsors of the legislation.

The bill requires the Montgomery County Police Department to issue a body-worn camera for the use of an on-duty employee of the department whenever the officer is wearing a uniform or prominently displaying a badge or insignia.

The bill also requires internal random reviews of body-worn camera recordings to evaluate officer performance and compliance with police rules. In addition, the bill provides that certain types of potential administrative misconduct discovered on body-camera recordings be investigated by the IAD.

Representatives of the County Executive’s Office and MCPD are expected to attend and provide information.

Newly arriving migrant and asylum-seeking children, youth and families in Montgomery County

Briefing: The joint HHS and E&C Committee will receive an update on national, regional and local issues regarding the arrival of migrant children who have come to live with approved sponsors through the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) and newly arriving migrant and asylum-seeking children and families who are now residents of Montgomery County.

DHHS convened a steering committee with Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) to plan and coordinate a response so that the county is well prepared to address the needs of newly arriving migrant and asylum-seeking children and families. The steering committee has been reviewing national best practices and programs in other jurisdictions and developed a proposed response model that will strengthen interagency coordination and create a navigation network, enhance family and community-based supports and strengthen education and school-based services.

According to the ORR, 473 unaccompanied children have been placed with sponsors in Montgomery County between January and May and 182 of those children arrived between April and May. The District of Columbia Metropolitan Region has been the destination for 1,814 children with 661 living with sponsors in Prince George’s County, 560 in Fairfax County and 120 in the District of Columbia. Children and families may also arrive through other avenues without going through the ORR process.

Those expected to attend and provide information include Dr. Raymond Crowel, director, DHHS; JoAnn Barnes, consultant, DHHS; Gillian Huebner, consultant, DHHS; Diane Vu, director, Office of Community Partnerships; Luis Cardona, administrator, Positive Youth Development, DHHS; Monica Martin, administrator, Child/Adolescent School and Community-Based Services, DHHS; Deborah Lambert, senior policy and budget analyst, Office of Management and Budget; Everett Davis, acting associate superintendent, Office of Teaching, Learning, and Schools. Student & Family Support & Engagement, MCPS; Ruschelle S. Rueben, chief of teaching, Learning, and Schools, MCPS; Margarita I. Bohorquez, acting director, Student, Family, and School Services – International Admissions & Enrollment, MCPS; Diego Uriburu, executive Director, Identity, Inc.; Celia Rivas, immigration services coordinator, Catholic Charities.

Special Appropriation to the FY22 Operating Budget – DHHS ($2,903,172), Dept. of Recreation ($300,000), Community Engagement Cluster ($330,000), and MCPS ($1,585,633) for Newcomers Enhancements and Assistance

Review: The joint Committee will also discuss a $5,118,805 Special Appropriation to the FY22 Operating Budget to provide funds for the proposed framework for supporting newly arriving migrant and asylum-seeking children and families. The special appropriation would provide $2,903,172 for DHHS, $300,000 for the Department of Recreation, $330,000 for the Community Engagement Cluster and $1,585,633 to MCPS for newcomers enhancements and assistance.

The funding for MCPS would create a new position to serve as a transition coordinator for newcomers, provide eight ESOL transition counselors and six elementary SLIFE (Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education) coaches and allow for professional learning for central office and school teams.

The funding for DHHS would create a new position to serve as a newcomer coordinator. The special appropriation would also increase capacity for monitoring and evaluation, case management support and increase access to mental and behavioral health, medical, legal orientation and family reunification support.

The funding for the Office of Community Partnerships would provide additional legal services needed for children and families or sponsors.

The funding for the Department of Recreation would create one new position to serve as an administrator and increase funding for therapeutic recreation with coaches trained in trauma-informed approaches and allow for additional targeted recreational events.

The Committee meeting schedule may change from time to time. The current Council and Committee agendas, Council staff reports and additional information on items scheduled for Council review can be viewed at: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/COUNCIL/ondemand/index.html.

The virtual Council and Committee meetings will be streamed live on the Council’s web page via YouTube and on Facebook Live and can be watched on County Cable Montgomery on Xfinity/RCN 6 HD 996/1056, Fios 30, and on the CCM live stream.

Release ID: 21-302
Media Contact: Sonya Healy 240-777-7926 , Benjamin Sky Brandt 240-777-7884