Delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk Welcomes Formation of Public Safety and Policing Workgroup
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Yesterday, Senate President Mike Miller and Speaker Michael Busch announced the formation of a workgroup on public safety and policing practices. Delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk is among the twenty Delegates and Senators appointed to the group.
“It is clear from the rioting in Baltimore that segments of our society feel abused and oppressed by the police, rather than protected. That must change. When police over-step their authority, it offends our civil rights and undermines the trust needed for effective policing,” said Peña-Melnyk.
The workgroup will consider police training, recruiting and hiring practices, the need for an oversight panel for certain types of investigations, application of the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights, and community engagement policies. It will hold public hearings and formulate recommendations for the next legislative session.
“I’ve been a prosecutor and a defense attorney, so I know both sides of the justice system. When people don’t believe that there is just treatment under the law the system breaks down and our community becomes less safe. The workgroup has to look at these issues from both the perspective of the police and the community that they serve. That’s the only way we can really understand how to heal these wounds.”