Statement from Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich on Antisemitism
Antisemitic language, threats, and actions have no place in Montgomery County, our state, and throughout our nation and world. Similar to recent violence and vitriol against our Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, the Jewish community of Montgomery County understandably is alarmed by the rise in antisemitic incidents that are currently occurring in our society.
While the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) has not had reports of any specific incidents at this time, they are vigilantly monitoring and increasing patrols around synagogues as well as Jewish businesses and communities. We continue to ask that if anyone experiences any form of hate or threats because of their racial, religious, ethnic, gender, and/or sexual orientation, they report these incidents to law enforcement. If you believe a bias/hate crime has occurred, please call 301-279-8000, or, in an emergency, dial 9-1-1, to report the incident to MCPD immediately.
I am all too aware of antisemitism, having grown up with it. And it is incredibly sad and disheartening that antisemitism, like other irrational biases, is still in our society in 2021. Montgomery County is a place of diversity, inclusion, and equity. We will have no tolerance for antisemitism, racism, xenophobia, homophobia or bigotry in any forms – in our homes, schools, places of business, government or online.
We will continue to monitor, help and protect all of our communities who receive threats, provocation or feel fear. Every inhabitant and visitor should be welcomed and feel safe in every neighborhood of Montgomery County.
Marc Elrich Submits Letter to WMATA Requesting White Flint Metro Station to be Renamed ‘North Bethesda Metro Station’
Per Montgomery County:
Last week, Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich submitted a letter to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) requesting the renaming of the White Flint Metro Station to be named the “North Bethesda Metro Station.”
Beginning in 2020, the County collaborated in station retitling efforts with the Greater Bethesda Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce, the Friends of White Flint, the White Flint Downtown Advisory Committee, and other community leaders. A public meeting, sponsored by the above groups as well as the County Executive and the District One Councilmember Andrew Friedson, was held on March 31, 2021 where the new designation of “North Bethesda” was selected.
“The development of the North Bethesda Metro Station is not only critical to the future economic growth of Montgomery County but the entire state and region,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “Thanks to our State Delegates in Districts 16 and 18, we have secured $250,000 toward the renaming costs. In addition, the County will contribute $50,000, and there is a commitment that remaining costs will be paid by the key property owners in the immediate vicinity of this station. The choice of ‘North Bethesda’ was the consensus of this community. I expect for generations to come the name ‘North Bethesda’ will be known as an epicenter in the bio/life sciences and quantum computing industries supported by private sector companies, academics, and federal agencies developed in a 21st-century sustainable and equitable location.”
“The Metro station is crucial to the viability of this area and our community’s vision for it,” District 1 Councilmember Andrew Friedson said. “We need a Metro station that reflects that vision and helps our economic development, regional competitiveness, and placemaking efforts so the Pike District and North Bethesda becomes an even more vibrant, walkable, and livable destination.”
“The entire Montgomery County House and Senate Delegations recognize the economic potential of ‘North Bethesda.’ Rebranding the Metro station is crucial to achieving that success and we were pleased to fight to obtain that state investment,” said Marc Korman, Delegate from District 16.
In 2010, Montgomery County completed a comprehensive update to the White Flint Sector Plan. Since that time, much has changed in North Bethesda including the former White Flint Mall which was dismantled between 2017 and 2020. A key goal for the community – both residential and business – is identity; and White Flint is no longer a relevant name or term used.
“Friends of White Flint believes the name ‘North Bethesda’ honors the history of this remarkable neighborhood and heralds a spectacular future as a walkable, transit-oriented, vibrant community,” said Amy Ginsburg, executive director of Friends of White Flint.
“Renaming the Metro station has been an imperative goal of the White Flint Downtown Advisory Committee to support current and future branding efforts of both the Pike District and greater North Bethesda,” said White Flint Downtown Advisory Committee Chairperson Andy Shulman. “We are pleased with the consensus amongst community, government and property stakeholders around the name ‘North Bethesda’ for the station.”
Marc Elrich Announces Agreement That Will Enable County to Transition More Than 40 Buses from Diesel to Electric Power
Per Montgomery County:
Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich today announced an agreement with AlphaStruxure, a leader in Energy as a Service (EaaS) solutions, to deploy an integrated microgrid and electric bus charging infrastructure project at the Brookville Bus Depot, 8710 Brookville Rd, in Silver Spring. The project will enable at least 44 buses in the Ride On Montgomery County’s transit fleet to transition from diesel to electric power. This event, advancing the County’s goal to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2035, reducing lifetime emissions by over 155,000 tons, while delivering resilience to climate events and power outages.
“This advanced infrastructure project drives forward several of our priorities—converting our fleets to electric, reducing harmful emissions, and ensuring safety and security—in alignment with our ambitious climate goals,” said County Executive Elrich. “I’m pleased that this project will also improve the County’s resilience, so we can continue providing transportation services even in the event of prolonged power outages.”
The Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot is a first-of-its-kind integration of microgrid and EV charging infrastructure, delivering sustainability, reliability and resilience for the County’s public transportation system. AlphaStruxure, a joint venture of Schneider Electric and the Carlyle Global Infrastructure Opportunity Fund, will design, build, finance, own and operate the project to enable Ride On’s growing electric bus fleet. The project is scheduled to be completed in late spring 2022 and is designed to deliver the following benefits and outcomes:
Bus Electrification: Enabling the County’s transition from fossil fuel buses to electric buses with a customized energy and infrastructure solution
Environmental Sustainability: 62 percent carbon emissions reduction with electric buses powered by the microgrid and lifetime greenhouse gas benefit of over 155,000 tons
Climate Resilience and Operational Reliability: Ensures uninterrupted bus services during any long-term power outages caused by severe weather as well as any short-term disturbances or perturbations of the utility grid
Flexible Fleet Operations: Avoidance of utility demand charges and time-of-use tariffs provides fleet operations with ultimate dispatch flexibility
Financial Benefits: Energy as a Service approach eliminates upfront cost to the County for the project including all microgrid and charging infrastructure, and provides long-term cost predictability for energy supply
Economic Development: Creates more than 50 construction jobs
“Electrifying our bus fleets is a necessary step in reducing carbon emissions, which is why the microgrid and electrification project brings us one step closer to meeting our ambitious climate goals,” County Council President Tom Hucker said. “This project can show a sustainable path for other counties and cities to follow Montgomery County’s lead in transitioning away from dirty energy and moving toward electrification.”
The Brookville Smart Energy Bus Depot will utilize Schneider Electric’s industry-leading EcoStruxure™ platform, including its top-ranked microgrid controllers and electrical distribution equipment. Leveraging strong relationships with industry-leading partners, the project integrates clean energy including solar photovoltaic canopies designed and built by SunPower, AB Energy USA onsite generation with a carbon neutral fuel transition strategy, Dynapower battery energy storage, charging and energy management software, ChargePilot from The Mobility House, and Heliox chargers. Mortenson will provide construction services and Arup will serve as engineer of record. AlphaStruxure will operate the project via a cloud-connected Network Operations Center providing 24/7/365 operations, monitoring and optimization of energy performance.
“The Smart Energy Bus Depot project provides a national model for local governments, transit agencies, and the private sector looking to electrify their fleets,” said Montgomery County Department of General Services Director David Dise. “Rather than buying the microgrid and charging infrastructure outright, the County partnered with AlphaStruxure, who builds, owns, operates and maintains the system. The County then purchases the electricity and resilience supplied by the microgrid and charging infrastructure on an ongoing basis. This model delivers the supporting infrastructure required to electrify our bus fleet, customized to our specific needs, at no upfront cost while also enhancing resilience and environmental sustainability.”
“We at AlphaStruxure applaud Montgomery County’s continued leadership in sustainability, resilience, and electrification. With transportation now the largest source of U.S. carbon emissions, we believe electrifying vehicle fleets is essential to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Agreement. However, the availability of sustainable and resilient electricity often poses a major barrier to organizations seeking to migrate fleets off of fossil fuels,” said Juan Macias, CEO, AlphaStruxure. “AlphaStruxure serves as the comprehensive partner for fleet electrification. We’re taking the capital cost, complexity and risk out of electrification for Montgomery County through a powerful integration of technical, financial and contractual solutions.”
“We believe we have the tools to facilitate the transition away from fossil fuels, but organizations are struggling to navigate their options for energy infrastructure improvements,” said Pooja Goyal, co-head of the Infrastructure Group at The Carlyle Group and AlphaStruxure board member. “Carlyle and Schneider created AlphaStruxure to address these challenges with an Energy as a Service offering that we believe is truly unique to the market. We are working alongside our customers and providing a comprehensive solution encompassing technology, ongoing servicing as well as financing. The Montgomery County project illuminates a new pathway to pursue fleet electrification, but it’s only scratching the surface of the outcomes and goals we believe AlphaStruxure can help customers achieve.”
AlphaStruxure is a joint venture between the Carlyle Global Infrastructure Opportunity Fund and Schneider Electric. Beyond microgrid fleet electrification projects, AlphaStruxure partners with energy-intensive and energy-sensitive clients spanning commercial, industrial, government, and critical infrastructure sectors to deliver custom EaaS solutions. Delivering specified outcomes for sustainability, resilience, reliability, and cost-predictability, AlphaStruxure’s EaaS microgrid solutions often integrate additional energy-related technologies including electrical and mechanical upgrades, electrification technologies, charging infrastructure and other advanced systems.
“AlphaStruxure’s microgrid and electrification project and our continued partnership with Montgomery County are more proof points of Schneider Electric’s leadership as the world’s most sustainable company,” said Annette Clayton, CEO & president, Schneider Electric North America and AlphaStruxure board member. “With our innovative Energy as a Service approach we are delivering the triple-bottom-line results for our customers: resilience, cost predictability, and sustainability.”
A Message from County Executive Marc Elrich
Per Montgomery County:
Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich talks about celebrating today, April 22, as Earth Day—while also reflecting that, if not for the COVID-19 health crisis, climate change would have been the natural disaster headline of the year, decade and century. He also offers his views on the long-term impact of the guilty verdict for a police officer in the death of George Floyd and provides an update on COVID-19 vaccinations.
Happy Earth Day! Today is another day to remember that, if it were not for COVID-19, climate change would have been the natural disaster headline of the year, decade and century.
I hope you have a chance to celebrate and commemorate Earth Day—enjoy the outdoors, hug a tree, turn off the lights you are not using . . . there is a lot that we can and should be doing individually and collectively.
Within County Government, we are tackling climate change. We are taking small steps and big steps and doing everything that we can do. We are focused on turning our bus and car fleet to electric vehicles, increasing our solar production and improving and expanding opportunities for public transit, biking and walking. We also have sent major legislation to the County Council regarding reducing energy use in existing buildings as well as future buildings. We are one of the leaders in the country on these issues. And with the passage of the Community Choice Energy bill, we have jumped into making CCE a reality for the County. We have State-imposed requirements and timelines, but we will move as quickly as is possible.
You can learn more about our climate change initiatives that I presented at our Earth Day news event.
I do need to comment on another major event: the guilty verdict for Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd. As I said earlier this week, the verdict will not bring George Floyd back to life or make his family whole, but it is one more reminder that we still have so much work to do regarding law enforcement reform and reimagining public safety.
Here in Montgomery County, we are moving forward with a comprehensive review of how we hire, how we train and how we police. We have established policies that clearly define expected practices: banning chokeholds, changing the rules on no-knock warrants and implementing a “duty to intervene” so that our officers understand their responsibility to step in when another officer is not acting appropriately in their work to protect the community.
This is our moment to institute significant institutional changes that will benefit all of our residents, rebuild confidence in our police and restore the morale of our officers. We began our work before the tragic George Floyd incident. Our work is continuing and we are committed to ensuring an equitable outcome for everyone. To read more about Reimaging Public Safety agenda, please visit our webpage.
In terms of our continuing COVID response and recovery, we have announced $59 million of additional funds to help tenants facing evictions. Information is available at the rent relief website or by calling 311 (240-777-0311). Previously, more than $16 million has been provided to more than 4,000 County households. We are reaching out to these families in numerous ways and we welcome your help in promoting this to any of your Montgomery County family, friends and neighbors who may need this assistance.
At our weekly press conference, we also outlined the multiple efforts by our team to provide food security to the many who are struggling throughout this county. You can watch the news conference here.
In consultation with our public health team, the County Council, sitting as the Board of Health, passed regulations regarding high school graduations. More details are here.
Our County’s COVID-19 case rate continues to be much better than virtually anywhere elsewhere in the State. Thankfully, our seven-day average is holding steady and not going up.
|Click to view the chart
You can find more details at https://state-of-maryland.github.io/DailyCaseRatebyJurisdiction/index_fullscreen.html.
We are currently reviewing and discussing metrics for further reopening. We will base our decisions on case rates, positivity, vaccination rates and more.
Our residents continue to be vaccinated at a good rate. More than 500,000 residents have received at least one dose. We continue to vaccinate as quickly as we receive the doses.
We are getting there together. Thank you.
A Message from County Executive Marc Elrich
County Executive Marc Elrich thanks the Montgomery County Delegation to the General Assembly for its many accomplishments in this year’s session. Among the legislation passed was a measure that will move the County closer to implementing “Community Choice Energy.” He also addresses how the “pause” of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines will impact Montgomery County’s vaccine program.
This past Monday was the last day—“Sine Die” — of the Maryland State legislative session. I want to thank the Montgomery County Delegation for its leadership and accomplishments in a number of different areas, which are listed here. I am especially appreciative of passage of legislation that would allow Montgomery County to implement Community Choice Energy (CCE), which gives us a chance to prioritize cleaner, sustainable energy sources. Even in the midst of this pandemic, we cannot lose sight of the ongoing climate emergency that must be addressed.
Although our County case rates and positivity do not seem to be declining, the good news is that the rate is not increasing, which is different than the situation statewide, as you can see from the graph below. See more details at https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/.
J & J vaccines
Two days ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended a “pause” in the use of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. It was recommended because a small number of cases of a “rare and severe” type of blood clots were reported among the nearly seven million J & J doses administered. All of the cases were among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred six to 13 days after vaccination. As of April 13, according to the CDC, no cases have been reported among the more than 180 million people who received the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines.
Certainly, this is a setback. The pause is necessary to allow a review, and I am appreciative that the information is being shared with all of us. On a personal note, I received the J & J vaccine a few weeks ago, and I feel fine. I know this will not be the last setback, and it is an important reminder that we must continue to work to slow the spread.
Equity, vaccines and the hard-hit communities
I held a press conference earlier today and was joined by our public health officer, Travis Gayles, and others on our public health team. They discussed our efforts to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines. Like most places around the country, Black and Hispanic residents are getting vaccinated at a lower rate than our White/non-Hispanic residents. The good news is that we are narrowing that gap, and we will continue to work with our hard-to reach and severely impacted communities. You can listen to the presentation from today. And you can read a little about it HERE.
Tips for the already vaccinated
I wanted to share this graphic with you that I find helpful. An enhanced version can be viewed here.
Message from County Executive Marc Elrich
Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich finds optimism in the battle against COVID-19 as more County residents are receiving vaccinations, but he also has great concerns as the number of positive cases reported also is increasing.
in addition, the County Executive comments on an incident that involved a student and County police officers.
The full message can be read below, or seen/heard in this link.
More and more people are getting vaccinated for COVID-19, which is great.
However, we are once again seeing an increase in cases and test positivity, and it is concerning. Our seven-day average case count per 100,000 residents is higher than it was in mid-June, and yet the State has lifted many restrictions.
In Montgomery County, our case and positivity rates have gone up 25 percent over the last three weeks.
Across the State, cases are going up. We are at levels that have surpassed the second wave in mid-summer and are at the same levels we were at the end of last October.
You can see that today, we are higher than we were during the “second wave”:
The variants have been found in Maryland and are likely contributing to this increase. We are also seeing hospital bed use rates for COVID cases beginning to rise.
While we take some comfort that our numbers are lower than most of the State and region, they are numbers that we considered unsafe back in the summer, and they are still unsafe now. New COVID-19 infections are increasing across the State and the country.
We are still in the midst of this pandemic. Please follow guidelines—wear a mask and please continue to maintain physical distance.
And testing continues to be very important. Last weekend, I visited ANGARAI’s COVID Test Center (ACTC) in Silver Spring. I was impressed with its operation and grateful for its efforts. To see where you can get tested in Montgomery County, go to https://montgomerycountymd.gov/covid19/testing.html.
The good news is that more and more people are getting vaccinated:
Enjoy your holidays and the warm weather when it returns, but please keep following the guidelines. We are almost there and our continued restrictions will help save lives until we can get the vaccines out everywhere.
Message From Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich
Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich provided an update on the number of residents who have been vaccinated for COVID-19 and explains that the County is working toward establishing a mass vaccination site.
He also explained how his Fiscal Year 2022 Recommended Operating Budget will help the County recover from the grip the virus had over the past year—and that it includes full funding for Montgomery County Public Schools and Montgomery College.
His message can be seen below:
Will MoCo get a mass vaccination site?
Yes. We just don’t know when. But we do know that, at some point, we will get many more vaccines and we need to be ready. And we will be ready. We are setting up the logistics now.
We are making progress:
- 75 percent of our 75 and older residents have received at least one dose.
- 65 percent of our residents who are 65-74 years old have received at least one dose.
- 30 percent of residents 16 and over received at least one dose.
- The Federal government will be sending more doses.
Reason for caution:
- About 70 percent of our adult residents are not yet vaccinated.
- The County’s seven-day average number of cases per 100,000 residents is still significantly higher than it was late summer/early fall, as is shown in the County Vaccine Dashboard.
- The State’s case count average is higher now than it had been from early August through October.
- There are multiple, aggressive variants of COVID-19 in Maryland.
- We do not know how many or when doses from the Federal government will arrive.
- Increased eligibility for vaccines should not be confused with the availability of vaccines. Demand continues to exceed supply.
- Trying to schedule an appointment with limited doses continues to be frustrating and needs a better system. We continue to ask the State to modify the program to streamline the process.
- Please be patient. If you are not yet vaccinated, you will be.
- Get tested if you think you might have been exposed to COVID-19.
- Even if you are vaccinated, when in public, continue physical distancing, frequent handwashing and masking wearing.
We are getting through this together.
P.S. I sent my Fiscal Year 2022 Recommended Operating Budget to the County Council on Monday. I am very pleased that, even after a year of a pandemic, we were able to propose a budget that:
- Fully funds our education partners at Montgomery County Public Schools and Montgomery College.
- Improves economic development.
- Tackles climate change.
- Increases mental health and other support for our residents in need.
- Provides record funding for affordable housing.
- Reimagines public safety.
- Fully funds recommended funding for public financing.
- And much more.
You can read my budget memo here.
Montgomery Update: COVID-19: Where We Are Now—and Looking Ahead
Yes, we are still thinking about vaccines a lot, and there’s some room for cautious optimism. While many of us do not yet have appointments to get vaccinated, we are making significant progress in the most vulnerable categories – as of today, more than 60 percent of our residents 75 and older have received at least one dose.
As of today, more than 137,000 Montgomery County residents have received at least their first dose of the vaccine.
That represents more than 13 percent of the County population. You can see more information on the County Vaccine Dashboard.
The vaccine distribution continues to be scattered with the county health department only receiving about one-third of the total doses that come to the county each week. (We get about 4,500 and the rest of the approximately 15,000 doses go to health care systems and pharmacies.) However, we were just told by the state that the County Health Department will continue to receive 4,500 doses each week for the next three weeks. This is far less than the need, but at least we can schedule in advance with knowledge.
We are still distributing vaccines according to the State tier system of priority groups. We are getting close to completing vaccinating frontline safety and health care workers and residents 75 and older. Within the next few weeks, we hope to begin reaching out to the next group of eligible residents, especially people 65 to 74. You can find the complete list of priority groups here. As a reminder, if you are in one of the current eligibility groups, you can preregister for a vaccine at a County clinic at https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/covid19/vaccine/. And if you know someone who needs help preregistering, you/they can call 240-777-2982.
There’s also cause for optimism because the two current vaccine producers announced that they will be significantly increasing production, and approval for a new single-shot vaccine looks promising. We are hopeful these will bring more vaccines to the state and county and open the doors for more people to get vaccines quicker.
There are also encouraging signs that the efforts we have made to stay safe, are proving effective. Over the past 14 days, the positivity rate of residents tested has been 3.3 percent. That is about one-fourth of our peak rate. Over the past seven days, the number of new cases has averaged 10.8 per 100,000 residents. That is about one-fifth of our peak rate.
But we still have many more people awaiting a vaccine. We all need to be patient. We are going to get there.
As we make progress, we also starting to experience better weather. People are going to see the reduced rate of positive cases and will be ready to get out of their houses. Our businesses are going to be ready to welcome customers.
We are looking ahead—but we will be moving cautiously. Last summer the rate of positive cases decreased and then we reopened many things all at once. It did not take long before cases skyrocketed. This time, taking the guidance of our health officers, we likely will be opening fewer activities from the start.
Our next steps will be leaning toward outdoor activities and only indoor activities where there is better air circulation. These factors will influence our possible increases in the number of people who can attend certain events or be part of gatherings. We now know for sure that if an activity is indoors, and people are unmasked, the potential rate of transmission is higher.
We need to learn from our prior experiences, and unfortunately in some cases, some of those lessons were relearned. More than anything, our reopening moves will be guided by the state of the virus.
Things are getting better. There is room for optimism. If we all move cautiously, and do not forget our lessons of safety, spring and summer will be much better this year than they were in 2020. And that is a very good thing.
A Message from County Executive Marc Elrich: COVID-19 Vaccines Are Coming—Please Be Patient
We are going to overcome the COVID-19 health crisis that has gripped our lives for almost a year. And the best way to do this is by staying informed and exercising some patience.
Many of us are eager to be vaccinated as soon as possible. As I think you are well aware, the number of people eligible is much greater than the number of vaccines available.
We have all seen stories of people who want appointments and cannot get them because of the limited doses. Unfortunately, we have also seen stories of people who are becoming overly stressed because the lack of vaccine doses has left them endlessly frustrated.
I ask everyone to remain patient. We are going to get there, but it will take some time.
More than 94,000 Montgomery residents have received their first vaccine, about nine percent of our County population. Just about everyone knows people who have received vaccinations because they are in Priority Group 1A (primarily frontline workers), Group 1B (which includes those 75 and over and educators) and Group 1C (including those 65 and over).
Be patient. Your turn is coming. The priority groupings that we are following, how you can preregister for appointments and where shots are being distributed can be found at https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/covid19/vaccine/.
The Biden Administration has said that it will be receiving greatly increased number of vaccines starting next week. So I am hopeful that the number of doses coming to Montgomery County will increase. We are ready to administer additional vaccines as soon as they arrive.
If you are seeking vaccine appointments, you can check multiple sites. I know it can be discouraging. You can keep checking and you can put your name on several websites, including at the County site.
You can also receive updates from the County by signing up here.
In some positive news, our efforts to get control of the virus have been making inroads. As of today, our seven-day average of new positive cases per 100,000 was 18.7. That is a drop by more than half since our high in January when it was almost 50 new cases per 100,000. The number of positive cases among those being tested in our County has decreased to 4.8 percent on a 14-day average. In January, it was eight percent.
Because the transmission rates have been reduced, I have issued, and the County Council has approved, Executive Order 19-21AM to allow restaurants to resume indoor seating at 25 percent capacity starting Sunday, Feb. 14. I understand how tough these times have been on our restaurants and their employees. We are taking a cautious reopening stance to balance the opportunity for some indoor dining with the need to protect the public health.
Additionally, the Board of Education has announced a reopening plan for students. You can read more about it here.
To all who celebrate the Lunar New Year starting tomorrow, I want to wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous new year. And to all, lets use Valentines Day as a reminder to show our love for our family, friends and neighbors by continuing to maintain physical distance, wash hands frequently and MaskUpMoco.
Let’s continue to work together to get through the frustration and difficulties. We are finding a path out, but it will continue to take time. Your understanding is greatly appreciated.
MoCo Executive Marc Elrich Releases Reimagining Public Safety Task Force Report that Provides Recommendations to Address Racial and Social Injustices
Per Montgomery County:
Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich has released the Reimagining Public Safety (RPS) Task Force Recommendations Report. The Reimagining Public Safety Task Force Report addresses racial and social injustices, and outlines recommendations for the County to deliver services in a more equitable manner. County Executive Elrich will discuss the Task Force Recommendations Report with members of the community in a virtual meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 9 via Zoom.
Members of the public can watch the roundtable meeting, and submit questions during the event. To participate, register in advance here.
The RPS Task Force was made up of 45 volunteer community members, 35 County representatives, and technical consultants. The Task Force also received input from the public throughout its review. The 87 recommendations detailed in the report represent the voices of community members and offers opportunities for the County to address an unjust system by rebalancing County investments in promoting safe communities to those more appropriate in serving that need, including additional resources for education, housing, employment, healthcare, social-emotional supports, and other public benefits.
“The report has opened a range of programming and policy initiatives for us to consider as we advance our public safety and racial justice strategies,” said County Executive Elrich. “The recommendations provide a basis for making progress and I am committed to exploring those findings. I want to thank all the members of the Reimagining Public Safety Task Force, especially co-chairs Bernice Mireku-North and Marc Mauer for their hard work over the past five months. They volunteered their time, attended regular meetings, and participated in tough and detailed discussions about reimagining public safety. The breadth of their recommendations included in this report is evident to their dedication to this work and our community. I also want to thank Effective Law Enforcement for All, Inc. for partnering with the County to help the Task Force produce this meaningful report.”
Key recommendations reflected in the report include:
1) Shift certain responsibilities from police to County agencies and community organizations:
- Fully implement an ecosystem of County agencies and other organizations working together in various ways (e.g., CAHOOTS program); and
- Change the triage of calls of service (e.g., confirm language to use to communicate, then determine social-service’s needs, etc.).
2) Revise law enforcement recruitment, training and public encounters with civilians:
- Inclusion in public safety measures across County police, staff and residents that reflects and understands the diverse makeup of the County;
- Lessen police presence on streets as a direct measure to help diminish impacts of racial bias in interactions with Montgomery County police officers;
- Reimagine training (e.g., cultural competency, Crisis Intervention Technique, implicit bias, etc.); and
- Change law enforcement culture.
3) Implement and/or expand alternative responses to crime:
- Decriminalize certain crimes;
- Eliminate funding for the school resources officer program;
- Improve alternative court processes and sentencing; and
- Change methods of traffic enforcement in the County.
4) Collect and analyze data to address both racial and social disparities:
- Better and more targeted data collection attentive to social disparity; and
- Ongoing assessment.
During the Zoom meeting, there will be a virtual roundtable with County Executive Elrich and Councilmembers Gabe Albornoz, Tom Hucker, Will Jawando, and Sidney Katz on the RPS Task Force Recommendations Report. All volunteer community members of the task force that contributed to the report have been invited to participate.
For more information about the RPS Task Force Recommendations Report, visit https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/rps/reports/.