June 10, 2021

County Policing Advisory Commission to Hold First Public Hearing on Monday, June 14, with Focus on Drug Enforcement

The Montgomery County Policing Advisory Commission will hold its first virtual public hearing at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, June 14, to hear from the community regarding the issue of drug enforcement.

The hearing will focus on drug possession arrests and interactions that resulted in stop and frisk or search for drugs in which no drugs were found, and the issuance of civil citations for possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana.

Community members are invited to register to provide live testimony during the public hearing or to submit written, audio, or video testimony. They are asked to limit live testimony to no more than three minutes and to one speaker per organization (if applicable).

Written, audio and visual testimony submitted prior to the public hearing may be longer, if needed. The deadline to register to speak at the public hearing is 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, June 13.

The following are examples of questions for members of the public to reflect on and address via their testimony:
  • Were you stopped and searched by the police? What happened? How did you feel?
  • After the police stopped you, what officially happened? Were you taken into custody? Were you let go? Were you given a citation? How was the encounter ultimately resolved?
  • If arrested, have you attempted to have the arrest or conviction expunged? If so, how would you describe that experience?
  • Have you experienced long-term consequences – such as suspension from school, loss of employment, loss of housing, family breakup, imprisonment?
  • Looking back on this encounter, what was the effect of this encounter on your relationship to the police or with other government agencies?
  • Would your experience in this encounter affect your willingness to go to the police if you were a crime victim or witnessed a crime?
  • If you needed treatment for a substance use disorder, did your experience with the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) expedite, delay, or otherwise affect your ability to get appropriate treatment?
  • Do you or your organization have a view on the public safety, public health, economic, social or other value of MCPD drug arrests—both for marijuana and for other drugs?
The Policing Advisory Commission was created in 2019 by the Montgomery County Council in response to the ongoing public dialogue around policing practices and as an effort to increase community involvement in matters of public safety. The commission’s mission is to advise the Council on policing matters and recommend policies, programs, legislation or regulations with regards to policing.

The commission is composed of 11 public voting members and two non-voting, ex-officio members—the police chief (or his designee) and the president of an employee organization.

The current members of the commission:
  • Shabab Ahmed Mirza (chair)
  • Dalbin Osorio (vice chair)
  • Cherri Branson
  • Caroline Fredrickson
  • Jenn Lynn
  • Jerome Price
  • Justice Reid
  • Vernon Ricks
  • Nadia Sandi
  • Eric Sterling
  • Robin Gaster
  • Alicia Hudson
  • Jasmine Williams
  • Chief Marcus Jones (ex officio member)
  • Sergeant Cate Brewer (ex officio member)
To learn more about the Policing Advisory Commission, go here.

For more information on the public hearing, contact Carlos Camacho at carlos.camacho@montgomerycountymd.gov or Susan Farag at susan.farag@montgomerycountymd.gov.