“POLICE REFORMs” gone too far. One of the most contested and emotional issues of Session 2021 has been police reform legislation. After a wave of protests and nationwide focus on police conduct, Maryland legislators passed multiple anti-police bills that would further erode police morale, community relationships, public confidence and undermine our goal of building transparent, accountable, and effective law enforcement institutions.
This radical legislation strips police officers of their legal protections and robs them of their ability to keep Maryland safe, this will result in great damage to police recruitment and retention, posing significant risks to public safety. I support some police reforms, including increased training, but it must be reasonable and balanced. Governor Hogan vetoed these bills and the legislature immediately overturned his vetoes.
Simply put, policing is hard work- we don’t call 9-1-1 when we are having a good day. We call 9-1-1 when we need help and something tragic is going on. If a burglar breaks into your house at 3am, your car is hijacked, or you are robbed at gunpoint - who do you call? A social worker? We call the police when there is a crisis and someone needs help and they always show up.
There is no disagreement among us that police brutality is wrong, judging people by their skin color is wrong. Yes, there are some bad cops, and good cops want to get rid of bad cops too. But painting all police officers as problems and removing the protections and due process that every other profession enjoys, is unfair.
Each of these police reform bills has a poison pill in them - they are bad for Maryland and they put vulnerable communities, who already are most impacted by violent crimes, at an even greater likelihood of being a victim of a violent crime.
I STOOD FIRM IN SUPPORTING OUR POLICE OFFICERS.