Montgomery County Council Passes Bill Spearheaded by Councilmember Will Jawando to Improve Transparency and Data Gathering in the Montgomery County Police Department

by Patrick Herron

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, November 2, 2021

ROCKVILLE, Md., Nov. 2, 2021— Today the Montgomery County Council unanimously enacted Bill 45-20, which aims to ensure greater transparency in the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) by creating publicly available data related to the race, ethnicity, gender and other voluntarily provided information about residents involved in policing actions. The new legislation focuses on enhancing the Council’s data-driven decision-making, reducing biases in policing and increasing transparency in the County to help build public trust.

Councilmember Will Jawando spearheaded this bill and is a lead sponsor along with Councilmember Sidney Katz, Council President Tom Hucker and Council Vice President Gabe Albornoz. All other Councilmembers are cosponsors.

“Making good policy requires good data,” said Montgomery County Councilmember Will Jawando. “If Montgomery County is going to be on the forefront of fair and equitable policing, that means we must also be on the forefront of collecting the information necessary to inform our decision-making as policymakers. I’m thrilled about passage of this legislation which will require collection of disaggregated data related to stop and frisks, trespass orders and other measures, greatly improving our ability to understand how Montgomery County Police interact with members of our community.”

Councilmember Katz said: “As a co-lead sponsor of Bill 45-20, and as the chair of the Council’s Public Safety Committee, I am pleased to see this bill enacted. This response to the Office of Legislative Oversight’s report is another important step regarding transparency and accountability. I want to thank our Office of Legislative Oversight for bringing these issues to light and I would like to thank MCPD for their cooperation and collaboration.”

Council President Hucker said: “We cannot improve policing without better data collection and public access to that data. That’s why I’m proud to be a lead sponsor of Bill 45-20, which will enhance transparency and accountability within MCPD and restore public trust. This bill is one of the many strides we are taking to ensure equitable, humane and effective policing in Montgomery County.”

Council Vice President Albornoz said: “Gathering data is essential to increase transparency and build trust with our community. As a co-lead sponsor of this important bill, I am proud to say that this legislation is among the tools we will need to protect and support our youth, families and law enforcement officials alike in the wake of racial and social justice.”

Bill 45-20 will make the following changes to County Law:

  • Require MCPD to report demographic information about residents stopped (including a stop and frisk that does not result in an arrest) to the Council by Feb. 1 annually.
  • Require MCPD to maintain data on race and ethnicity, use of force incidents, criminal citations and juvenile citations, among others, and to post the data on its web portal.
  • Generally, amend the law governing policing.

In addition to this newly enacted legislation, Councilmember Jawando was the lead sponsor of the Law Enforcement Trust and Transparency Act, which aims to ensure that when a police officer is involved in the death of an individual, investigations into that officer’s conduct are independent, impartial and transparent. He was also the lead sponsor, along with Councilmembers Craig Rice, Nancy Navarro and Vice President Gabe Albornoz, of legislation passed last year which requires the Montgomery County police chief to adopt a Use of Force Policy aimed at safeguarding all community members from excessive use of force by police. Moreover, in Dec. 2019 he cosponsored legislation spearheaded by Councilmember Hans Riemer to create Montgomery County’s Policing Advisory Commission.

The Council staff report for Bill 45-20 can be viewed here.

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Release ID: 21-442
Media Contact: Sonya Healy, 240-777-7926 , Jordan Lindsay 240-777-7809


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