Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks announced Friday the creation of a police reform task force that will review department strategies and hiring and use-of-force policies.
The group of nearly two dozen will be co-chaired by Circuit Court Judge Maureen Lamasney and Del. Alonzo Washington (D-District 22) of Greenbelt.
“While we have made important strides together as a community to build a responsive, transparent and accountable police department, we realize that there is still more work to be done to address issues that are present in PGPD and in police departments across the nation,” Alsobrooks said in a statement. “I am confident that this group of community advocates and public officials will develop insightful recommendations helping our police department truly become a model for our nation.”
The other members include former county State’s Attorney Glen Ivey, county council President Todd Turner, retired Assistant Sheriff Orlando Barnes, Josephine Mourning, chair of the county’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and Krystal Oriadha, co-founder of the LGBTQ Dignity Project.
Earlier in the week, Progressive Maryland’s justice task force released a letter it sent to Alsobrooks’ office outlining a list of demands for police reform, including:
“County Executive Alsobrooks and the County Council must take a firm and sustained stance that denounces racism, discrimination, unlawful use of force and other injustices,” Larry Stafford, executive director of Progressive Maryland, said in a statement. “The proactive measures put forth in these demands are a start at ending these practices and giving Prince Georgians the police department they expect and deserve.”
Alsobrooks’ task force was established on June 18 after a nearly 100-page report became public, showing that white county police officers allegedly used racial slurs and retaliatory methods against fellow Black and Latino officers, often without punishment, while Blacks and Latinos were transferred to other offices for speaking out against unjust behavior.
Hours after the report’s release, police Chief Hank Stawinski resigned.
The next day, Alsobrooks announced Assistant Police Chief Hector Velez would serve as interim chief during a national search for a new leader of the department of more than 1,600 officers and civilian employees.
After a comprehensive study and review of the police department, the task force will submit a report with recommendations to the county executive by Oct. 30.