Sher­iff ap­pointed to state com­mis­sion

Mary­land Po­lice Train­ing and Stan­dards Com­mis­sion to rec­om­mend best prac­tices

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By ANDREW RICHARD­SON arichard­son@somd­

Last week, Charles County Sher­iff Troy Berry (D) was ap­pointed and sworn in as the re­gional rep­re­sen­ta­tive on the Mary­land Po­lice Train­ing and Stan­dards Com­mis­sion. Com­prised of county, state and fed­eral law en­force­ment of­fi­cials, state leg­is­la­tors, two civil­ians, a state’s at­tor­ney, a men­tal health ex­pert and a rep­re­sen­ta­tive on be­half of At­tor­ney Gen­eral Brian Frosh, the com­mis­sion will work to­gether to rec­om­mend the best prac­tices law en­force­ment agen­cies in the state should fol­low.

Es­tab­lished through the pass­ing of House Bill 1016, the newly formed com­mis­sion will re­place the Mary­land Po­lice Train­ing Com­mis­sion. The new com­mit­tee will re­tain the same pow­ers of the old, but has the ad­di­tional power to re­quire spe­cial anti-dis­crim­i­na­tion train­ing and use of force de-es­ca­la­tion train­ing to en­try-level of­fi­cers, as well as pe­ri­odic in-ser­vice train­ing for cur­rent of­fi­cers, the bill anal­y­sis states. The com­mis­sion also has the power to adopt and rec­om­mend a set of best prac­tices and stan­dards for use of force in­ci­dents.

The bill ad­di­tion­ally re­quires that each law en­force­ment agency re­port the num­ber of “se­ri­ous of­fi­cer-in­volved in­ci­dents, the num­ber of­fi­cers dis­ci­plined, and the type of dis­ci­pline that was ad­min­is­tered to each of­fi­cer who was dis­ci­plined” to the com­mis­sion, while also pro­hibit­ing re­tal­ia­tory ac­tions to be taken against an of­fi­cer who dis­closes spec­i­fied in­for­ma­tion.

The com­mis­sion will “eval­u­ate and mod­ern­ize” po­lice re­cruit­ment with aim to increase di­ver­sity in law en­force­ment. It also cre­ates the Com­mu­nity Pro­gram Fund with an an­nual bud­get of $500,000 to be granted to lo­cal law en­force­ment agen­cies for fund­ing of com­mu­nity-polic­ing ini­tia­tives and pro­grams.

“We are go­ing to be pretty much the sound­ing board for the gov­er­nor as we move forth to­ward this leg­isla­tive ses­sion,” Berry said. “What we should be im­ple­ment­ing, what kind of train­ing we should be sug­gest­ing to other de­part­ments, and also work­ing through best prac­tices and poli­cies that we think would be ap­pli­ca­ble to the state of Mary­land to move law en­force­ment for­ward.”

Berry cred­ited his ap­point­ment as a re­flec­tion of his agency’s many com­mu­nity-polic­ing ini­tia­tives, in-ser­vice train­ings and trans­parency.

“I think what we do here at the Charles County Sher­iff’s Of­fice has played a vi­tal role in what needs to be done na­tion­ally, and also on the state level,” Berry said. “A lot of these train­ings we have al­ready im­ple­mented. We have al­ready im­ple­mented sen­si­tiv­ity train­ing, con­flict res­o­lu­tion train­ing and em­brac­ing one’s di­ver­sity in the com­mu­nity. We have worked very closely with our faith-based com­mu­ni­ties and NAACP.”

“Based on what we do on a day-to-day ba­sis, what we have been able to do un­der this ad­min­is­tra­tion, I think we’re not only set­ting the stan­dards for the state of Mary­land,” Berry con­tin­ued, “but also set­ting na­tional stan­dards of best prac­tices for po­lice de­part­ments and sher­iff’s of­fices through­out this whole coun­try.”


Charles County Sher­iff Troy Berry signs his name af­ter be­ing sworn in as the South­ern Mary­land rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Mary­land Po­lice Train­ing and Stan­dards Com­mis­sion.


Charles County Sher­iff Troy Berry is sworn in by Clerk of Cir­cuit Court Sharon Han­cock as the South­ern Mary­land rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Mary­land Po­lice Train­ing and Stan­dards Com­mis­sion.

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