This week we began our “Real Talk About Reform” series where we’re highlighting Maryland-specific police reform initiatives that we all should know about and support. The first was the Maryland Public Information Act (MPIA) which currently DOES NOT allow for police misconduct complaints to be made available to the public, and we want to change that.

Now that the election’s over, we must push for change at the state level to be able to do what’s needed here in Cecil County. So, let your voices be heard loudly and clearly that we expect accountability for all police officers. Let’s flood our state representative Mike Griffith’s inbox demanding that all police personnel files be disclosed to the public.
Copy and paste the email template below and send it to: today.

Delegate Griffith,
It is imperative that in the next General Assembly Session the state of Maryland expand the Maryland Public Information Act to include disclosure of complaint files made against police. Taking this step will build a greater trust between the community and those that are sworn to protect it.
Under current law, if you file a complaint of police misconduct, you cannot find out how the department investigates your complaint. All you can find out is the outcome and the discipline. You cannot find out whether the department conducted a thorough or lackluster investigation of your complaint. This is because the complaint file is considered a ‘personnel record’ under Maryland’s Public Information Act and personnel records may never be disclosed.
I ask that you work to remove the complaint file from the personnel record category, thereby allowing police departments to disclose these files to the public. Taking this step will create safer communities for all of us in Maryland.
(Insert Name)