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Carroll County Times
Carroll County News

Five county residents chosen to serve on Carroll’s new police accountability board

The Carroll Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday announced the five members of the county’s first police accountability board created, following a mandate from the state, to receive complaints of police misconduct, review police disciplinary trends and work with local law enforcement to improve policing.

Commissioners President Ed Rothstein, a Republican who is seeking reelection this year, said the commissioners chose the board members from among 30 applicants. The commissioners evaluated the applications based on a specific set of criteria and eligibility handed down by the state, he added.

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“When they were interviewed, we were looking at the level of maturity, background, diversity and experiences,” Rothstein said. “We took a holistic approach.”

The members, who will serve two-year terms and meet quarterly or as needed, include:

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  • Chairperson Stacy Shaffer of Westminster, an attorney and partner in private practice at Shaffer and Shaffer in Westminster. Shaffer once worked as a law clerk to the administrative family law magistrate in Carroll County Circuit Court.
  • Lisa Knight of Westminster, president and general manager of select products and flavors at CBI Global, a Westminster-based company that procures, processes and exports spices and coffee.
  • Steven Miller, former town administrator of Manchester, who retired in 2019 after 40 years of service to the town.
  • Ian Shaw, a real estate broker and small business owner, who served as mayor of Sykesville from 2013 to 2021.
  • Jeremy Willet of Westminster, owner of the Willet Family Farm, which won the grand prize in the 2020 Carroll Biz Challenge.

Knight’s husband is a retired police officer, according to Chris Winebrenner, communications manager for the county; no other member of the board has an affiliation with law enforcement. The Town of Sykesville recommended Shaw and the Town of Manchester recommended Miller be named to the board, Winebrenner stated in an email.

The Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021 was enacted by the General Assembly to bring changes to law enforcement throughout the state. Among other requirements, the legislation states that Baltimore City and every Maryland county must form a police accountability board by July 1. The board will make policy recommendations, review outcomes of disciplinary matters considered by charging committees, and require regular reports on disciplinary processes.

The county must also create an administrative charging committee, which will review police internal investigations regarding alleged officer misconduct and determine whether an administrative charge is appropriate. If a charge is appropriate, the committee will schedule a public hearing and make a recommendation.

The chairperson of the police accountability board, Shaffer, will serve on the five-member administrative charging committee. Commissioners will appoint two civilian members to that committee and the police accountability board will appoint two more civilian members by majority vote.

Commissioners approved a resolution in May to create the local police accountability board and administrative charging committee, stipulating that members shall not have a charge pending or have been convicted, in federal or state court, of a crime punishable by imprisonment exceeding one year and received a sentence of imprisonment for more than one year, unless pardoned.

In April Carroll County Sheriff Jim DeWees said accountability board members should be thoroughly vetted and anyone who has had an adverse interaction with law enforcement should not be eligible to participate.

“I don’t agree with the entire concept,” DeWees said at the time. “We don’t have police misconduct in Carroll County. We get very few complaints a year.”


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