Council President Tom Hucker introduced legislation that would amend the existing internal affairs procedures and reporting requirements of the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD). Expedited Bill 18-21 is co-sponsored by Councilmembers Will Jawando, Hans Riemer, Evan Glass, Nancy Navarro and Craig Rice.
The legislation aims to improve police accountability through the requirement of random review of body-worn cameras for MCPD officers and through the prompt reporting of serious Internal Affairs Division (IAD) investigations.
"Improving transparency and accountability within our police department cannot happen without meaningful policy change," said Hucker. "This bill has key provisions that will increase transparency in the review of body cam footage and help strengthen community-police relations."
The expedited bill would also do the following:
• require the department to issue body-worn cameras for any officer who is called into uniform;
• require the internal reporting of certain investigations to the Chief of Police;
• require the reporting of certain investigations, investigative files, and body-worn camera recordings to the County Executive, the County Council, and the State’s Attorney;
• require maintenance of a log of each time a body-worn camera recording is accessed or redacted; and
• generally amend the law governing policing, body-worn camera recordings, and police internal affairs.
The introduction of the bill follows the March 2021 release of body-worn camera footage of MCPD officer interaction with a five-year-old MCPS student that occurred in January 2020 at East Silver Spring Elementary School. Litigation is pending on the incident.