The Montgomery County Council appointed the nine individuals nominated by County Executive Marc Elrich to the inaugural Police Accountability Board (PAB) on June 28. This is the conclusion of two bills enacted within the last two years. In April, the Council enacted Expedited Bill 49-21 (establishing a PAB and Administrative Charging Committee) which followed House Bill 670’s passage by the Maryland General Assembly in 2021. House Bill 670 created a new uniform procedure for police accountability and discipline which included the establishment of a PAB and an ACC in each county in the state. The law requires every Maryland county to establish a PAB by July 1. The bills came after the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police in 2020, which sparked nationwide protests and calls for police reform.
When speaking about the PAB, Council President Gabe Albornoz said, “Montgomery County is committed to ensuring that we build bridges between our community and law enforcement to ensure community safety for all. The Police Accountability Board will play a critical role in ensuring that connection, and I appreciate the residents who have come forward to serve.”
The appointees will be responsible for handling complaints alleging police misconduct by a MCPD officer or officer of a local municipal police department filed by a member of the public. The nine members of the PAB must be Montgomery County residents and the board must reflect the racial, gender, gender-identity, sexual orientation, and cultural diversity of the County. The members also must demonstrate the ability to balance effective oversight, perform objective analysis of an investigation report, and practice procedural fairness through professional or lived experience. The appointees are: Bishop Paul Walker (Chair), Alicia Hudson, Kenneth Kellner, George Lluberes, Rudy Logan, Katharine Manning, Alvin McCray, Thomas Williams Jr., and Christopher Zatratz. The County Executive submitted his nominations on June 8 and the Council held interviews with all nine nominees on June 21.
“As Chair of the Council’s Public Safety Committee, I know how important it is to have the best people serving on these boards,” said Council-member Sidney Katz. “The state gave us a mandate to establish the PAB and the ACC, and it took a true team effort to meet the requirements of this mandate. I am pleased that we were able to meet the deadline, while thoroughly vetting the applicants to ensure that those who are serving are committed to being fair and impartial.”
According to the Montgomery County Website, the PAB will be receiving a $100,510 budget for operating costs for FY 2023 with no word if that will remain the same in the future.