Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich has announced that the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) and the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) have agreed to a new policy requiring officers to intervene when they witness excessive force by other officers. The Use of Force Intervention Policy, which went into effect on Thursday, June 11, states that it shall be the duty of every officer present at any scene where physical force is being applied to either stop, or attempt to stop, another officer when force is being inappropriately applied or is no longer required.
County Executive Elrich, County Police Chief Marcus Jones and FOP Lodge 35 President Torrie Cooke held a media briefing on the new policy at 2:30 p.m. via Zoom on Tuesday, June 16.
“Over the past few years I have watched incidents with questionable behavior by one police officer while other officers have not intervened,” said County Executive Elrich. “This has been an issue across the nation as highlighted by the death of George Floyd and others. Here at home, I asked Chief Jones to work with our police union to address this issue. I want to thank our police union for working to resolve this issue. This agreement is a significant step to clarify the role of any and all officers on the scene. I believe that it is an important step toward reassuring the community that all police officers understand their role and responsibility.”
The policy is an important initiative Chief Jones has undertaken to improve the department’s relationship with the community. “There are a number of things that we have been working on to improve how we serve the community,” said Chief Jones. “Since I was appointed, I have been committed to having the community see us (MCPD) as a partner that helps to add to their quality of life. It is imperative that we are trusted by all the residents of our County. People need to believe that we are here to protect and serve everyone, no matter who they are or where they live. This change is one important step, but we have a lot more work to do.”
FOP Lodge 35 President Cooke said: “The men and women of the Montgomery County Police Department are committed to protecting the people of this County. When Police Chief Marcus Jones brought the duty to intervene language to the FOP’s attention, we immediately worked with him to codify the language in our police policy. We have always believed that our officers have a duty to intervene when force is applied inappropriately. Working with the community to improve the quality of life and trust should be our priority.”