The Harford County Council approved a bill this week that would institute a police accountability board and a charging committee.
These bodies are required by the Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021, a package of state legislation addressing police reform, which makes changes in areas such as how to discipline officers accused of misconduct and standards for when officers are allowed to use force.
Harford County joins municipalities across the state that have formed similar boards in order to meet the July 1 deadline.
The accountability board will be responsible for hearing citizen complaints of police misconduct and then forwarding the complaints to be investigated by law enforcement. When an investigation is complete, the charging committee will decide if discipline is necessary and, if so, what the discipline would be.
Harford County Executive Barry Glassman nominated five members to the accountability board from 73 applicants, according to governmental and community relations director Cindy Mumby. The County Council approved the nominees Tuesday at its legislative session.
One of the five, John Landbeck Jr., 81, of Aberdeen, a retired Circuit Court judge and former FBI special agent, will serve as chairperson of the police accountability board. Landbaeck either will serve on the charging committee or designate another accountability board member to do so.
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The four additional members of the accountability board will be: Vicki Jones, 50, of Aberdeen, who is president of the Harford County NAACP; Sean Jackson, 52, of Jarrettsville, a federal government employee and retired law enforcement; Alison Imhoff, 35, of Fallston, a social worker and director of the Sexual Assault/Spousal Abuse Resource Center; and John McCoy, 56, of Aberdeen, retired law enforcement and Inner County Outreach member at New Hope Baptist Church.
In an email to The Aegis, Mumby wrote that “the county executive sought a balanced and diverse board and appreciates the service of these community volunteers.”
Members of the charging committee do not require council approval. Glassman appointed two additional members to the charging committee: Jansen Robinson, of Edgewood, a current member and former president of the Harford County Board of Education and present chair of the Edgewood Community Advisory Board; and Charlie Robbins, of Bel Air, who works for the county’s criminal justice coordinating council and is retired law enforcement.
The accountability board will appoint two members to the charging committee, for five members in total, including Landbeck. The accountability board’s appointments may come from the 73 applicants Glassman’s office received but are not required to, Mumby said.
The police accountability board is required to meet quarterly. No initial meeting date has been set.