Police Official: ‘Speeding a Common Complaint Against County Officers’

Speeding and courtesy are the two most common complaints called in by residents against Montgomery County police officers, according to Sgt. Pete Baker.

Baker, who currently serves in Montgomery County Police Department’s internal affairs division, revealed this information to residents during a free seminar regarding the department’s compliment and complaint process.

“It’s important for the community to understand what the police department does to police itself,”  he said. “In the internal affairs division, we maintain the integrity of the department. We investigate complaints, we find problems within, and we […] either fix them or remove them.”

There are six detective sergeants that complete investigations for the more than 1,400 officers and civilians who work in the police department. These numbers, according to Sgt. Baker,  are a positive sign.

“To have that few investigators is telling and shows that we have a very good department with relatively few problems compared to other agencies in the metropolitan area.”

Some residents in attendance for the free workshop, however, did not agree with Baker’s analysis of the department.

One woman in attendance said she felt she was racially profiled when she was pulled over by an officer who did not come to her vehicle until another officer arrived.

“What was it about me, a woman coming home from church with another female, that made him feel compelled to call for another police officer?” she asked.

No matter how tough the topic of discussion, the station’s commander said these monthly seminars are all about creating transparency with the community.

“One challenge for law enforcement agencies is that people believe they’re not living up to their responsibilities when cases are under investigation,” Capt. William Montgomery, said. “This gives us a chance to give a face and understanding of what it is that we do.”

Longtime Silver Spring resident David Hondowicz agreed.

“The more we get to know the officers as persons and the more the officers get to know the public, the less likely you’re going to have a tragedy,” he said.

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Mitti Hicks

About Mitti Hicks

Mitti Hicks is a multimedia journalist and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media. She is passionate about telling stories that impact our community and may be reached at MHicks@mymcmedia.org and on Twitter @mittimegan.

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