Frequently Asked Questions

The Police Accountability Board (PAB) is a component of the new police accountability and discipline process enacted by the Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021 that replaces the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights.   

The PAB is comprised of 9 voting members. One of the 9 members must be an Annapolis resident, who is appointed upon recommendation by the Mayor and Annapolis City Council.

House Bill 670 required each Maryland county to establish Police Accountability Boards to:   

Hold quarterly meetings with heads of law enforcement agencies and otherwise work with law enforcement agencies and the county government to improve matters of policing; Appoint civilian members to charging committees and trial boards; Receive complaints of police misconduct filed by members of the public; On a quarterly basis, review outcomes of disciplinary matters considered by charging committees; and   
By December 31 each year, submit a report to the governing body of the county that identifies any trends in the disciplinary process of police officers in the county and makes recommendations on changes to policy that would improve police accountability in the county.

Anne Arundel County Code 3-7A states that representatives on the PAB must possess diverse skills and backgrounds including:   
Active in community organization;   
Active in civil rights organization;   
Retired law enforcement;   
Expertise and experience in the practice of criminal law;   
Expertise in behavioral health;   
Clergy or faith leadership experience;   
Expertise and experience in community policing;   
Training in sociology, education, social work, or criminology;   
Expertise and experience in management of a law enforcement agency, managing personnel discipline matters;   
Expertise and experience in policing standards;   
Juvenile Services; and   

Other life experience that may be valuable to the board

Yes. County Code 3-7A (Bill 16-22) requires the Police Accountability Board to comply with the Open Meetings Act. This will require reasonable advance notice of meetings, an agenda be made available as soon as practicable (at least 24 hours before meeting), arrangements be made for the public to attend and minutes, archived video, or an audio recording will be made available following the meetings.

Yes. All members of the PAB are subject to a background check.

PAB members will be required to take ethics training, implicit bias training, and complete the Community Police Academy, as well as complete any training the State, County Executive, or PAB itself may require.

Bill 16-22 states that the Police Accountability Board has 9 voting members. 1 of the 9 members must be an Annapolis resident, who is appointed upon recommendation by the Mayor and Annapolis City Council.

No, there are not any ex-officio (or non-voting) members on the board at this time.

County Code 3-7A (Bill 16-22) states, all board members are required to have been residents of Anne Arundel County for at least three years immediately prior to being appointed. One member is required to have been a resident of the City of Annapolis for at least three years prior to being appointed.

As codified in 3-7A-105, which governs the terms of voting members. The initial terms of voting members shall be staggered so that four members, including the chair, shall serve initial terms of three years and five members shall serve initial terms of two years. After the initial terms, the term of a voting member is three years.

Members are ineligible for immediate appointment after serving 2 full terms.

An active police officer is not permitted to be on the PAB under State law. Retired or former officers are not prohibited from serving on the Board.

The Police Accountability Board’s responsibilities include the following actions:

  • Accepts and forwards complaints from citizens for investigation by the police and sheriff’s departments
  • Appoints members to Charging Committees and Trial Boards
  • Reviews outcomes of disciplinary matters considered by the Charging Committees and Trial Boards
  • Submits an annual report to the County that identifies any trends in disciplinary actions against law enforcement personnel
  • Makes policy recommendations that would improve police accountability and meets with community youth representatives at least twice a year
  • Holds quarterly meetings with heads of law enforcement agencies and otherwise works with law enforcement agencies in the county government to improve matters of policing

The Administrative Charging Committee consists of 5 members - the chair of the Police Accountability Board (or their PAB designee), two civilian members selected by the PAB, and two civilian members selected by the chief executive officer of the county.

The Charging Committee will use the Model Uniform State Disciplinary Matrix as responsive measures to determine whether a police officer’s sustained violation of an agency’s policy. This Matrix was developed for all jurisdictions throughout the State of Maryland as part of the legislation that developed the Police Accountability Board structure.

The Disciplinary Matrix includes a breakdown of six different categories of violations, labeled A through F, with A as the lowest level of discipline and F as the highest.

  • Each category is defined, along with example violations.
  • Three penalty levels are included in each category which are based on the number of similar violations in a specified period of time.
  • A disciplinary range is used for assessing the recommended discipline.
  • Based on aggravating and mitigating factors, the disciplinary range can increase or decrease upon review of the totality of the circumstances surrounding the sustained violation.

The Disciplinary Matrix will be maintained and published by the Maryland Police Training and Standards Commission on its public website here.

The ACC is a public entity. Why aren’t these deliberations public?

The ACC has a statutory requirement to maintain confidentiality of the proceedings, so deliberations are conducted in closed meetings, pursuant to General Provisions Article 3-305(b)1 and 3-305(b)13.

The trial board adjudicates matters for which a police officer or deputy is subject to discipline. The trial board meets when the decision of the Police Chief or Sheriff is appealed by an officer.

As required by law, the Trial Board includes 3 members - an active or retired administrative law judge, or a retired district or circuit court judge, appointed by the County Executive; a civilian who is not a member of an administrative charging committee, appointed by the Police Accountability Board; and a police officer of equal rank to the accused officer, appointed by the Chief of Police that employs the officer subject to the complaint

A separate trial board will be convened for each incident and only when requested by the officer.