Applications are open to serve on Frederick County’s recently formed Police Accountability Board.
Frederick County residents have until May 20 to apply for the board, which will review complaints of misconduct against police officers in the county, identify trends in how officers are disciplined and recommend policy changes.
The 11-member board will start meeting in July and meet at least quarterly. It is also tasked with appointing civilian members to charging committees and trial boards.
Every county in Maryland was required to establish a Police Accountability Board by a state law passed last year.
In Frederick County, the board will manage the complaint process for the county sheriff’s office and police departments in the city of Frederick, Brunswick and Thurmont.
Applicants will be interviewed and vetted by county and local officials, including County Executive Jan Gardner — or someone she designates — and mayors from Brunswick, Frederick and Thurmont, or the municipality’s chief administrative officer.
Gardner will appoint members and they will be confirmed by the Frederick County Council to serve three-year terms. Initially, some appointees will serve only one or two year-terms, according to a news release from the county on Wednesday.
Everyone appointed to the board must complete training from the Maryland Police Training and Standards Commission and “other training deemed necessary,” according to the release, and will have to abide by the county’s ethics law.
Last month, the County Council approved criteria for who will be able to serve on the local Police Accountability Board.
To the “maximum extent practicable,” the board’s members must reflect the county’s racial, gender and cultural diversity and include representation from populations that frequently interact with law enforcement.
These communities include people who are Black or African American, Latino, LGBTQ, first- or second-generation immigrants, people with disabilities, people with behavioral health concerns and people who have experienced homelessness.
People appointed to the board must also be familiar with, or have experience in, the legal field, the behavioral health field, social services, human resources or personnel management; have experience with the operation of a government agency, criminal justice agency or community service organization; or have “relevant lived experience,” according to the bill establishing the local board.
The County Council is requiring the board to have at least one Black or African American member and another who is a first- or second-generation immigrant. It must also have at least two Frederick residents, one Brunswick resident and one Thurmont resident.
Only those registered to vote may apply.
Under state law, active police officers and their immediate family may not serve on the board. Neither can people who have been convicted of, or received probation before judgment for, a crime with a statutory penalty of more than two years.