Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich has released the Reimagining Public Safety (RPS) Task Force Recommendations Report. The report, which addresses racial and social injustices, outlines 87 recommendations for the County to deliver services in a more equitable manner.
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 recommendations detailed in the report represent the voices of community members. They offer 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.”
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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).
- Change the triage of calls of service (e.g., confirm language to use to communicate, then determine social-service’s needs, etc.).
- Inclusion in public safety measures across County police, staff and residents that reflect and understand 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.).
- Change law enforcement culture.
- Decriminalize certain crimes.
- Eliminate funding for the school resources officers program.
- Improve alternative court processes and sentencing.
- Change methods of traffic enforcement in the County.
- Better and more targeted data collection attentive to social disparity.
- Ongoing assessment.