County Executive Marc Elrich: Reimagining Public Safety

Building a more equitable and inclusive Montgomery County by promoting safe neighborhoods and communities that are better for all County residents.

  • Identify and address implicit bias and institutional racism in all aspects of the public safety system.
  • Assemble a community task force to Reimagine Public Safety in Montgomery County. Launch a Task Force by August 1, 2020 that will develop a set of recommendations that reimagines the Montgomery County Police Department and all public safety programs by January 18, 2021.
  • Collect, research and analyze data and information. Analyze 911 calls dispatch data and Police records management system to determine the types of calls Police responds to. Analyze 311 calls to determine community needs. Evaluate Police Department budget and structure to determine how resources are allocated. 
  • Review policies and procedures. Conduct an independent audit of the Police Department to uncover any aspects of implicit bias, as well as systemic racial bias. Develop a new process and reporting for pretextual stops. Strengthen standards and accountability for pretextual traffic stops to ensure that they are used only to support investigations.
  • Initiate Police Department reorganization. Appoint a new assistant civilian Police Chief with expertise in police-community relations and evidence-based policing to lead a new community engagement division. Promote community policing by assigning more officers to beats and measuring performance by positive community interaction. Direct non-emergency 911 calls to the telephone reporting unit. Evaluate the roles of school resource officers and of district community action teams. Create a professional accountability division to improve internal accountability. Restructure the traffic unit to advance Vision Zero priorities
  • Reimagine County response to community needs for health and social services where Police is filling the void. Develop robust crisis response mechanism: mental health, homelessness, child welfare, youth diversion, domestic violence, etc. Create a sustained support and integrated case management approach that addresses crisis and leads to improved intervention to prevention services and investments. Partner with other county departments, non-profit organizations and others to find alternatives to arresting people who commit minor offenses stemming from mental illness, substance abuse, poverty, and homelessness.
  • Rebalance County investments in safe communities. Prioritize investments to align with community needs, including additional resources for education, housing, employment, health care, social-emotional supports, and other public benefits.