Officers who have accused the Prince George's County Police Department of retaliation and discrimination stepped forward with their own suggestions for the task force reviewing the department's practices and policies.
Former Prince George's County Police Chief Hank Stawinski stepped down several weeks ago.
“Have we seen any changes? No,” Prince George’s County Lt. Thomas Boone said. “And we’re not going to see any changes under the leadership we have now. The police department is in a bad place.”
Current and retired Prince George's County police officers are suing the department for discrimination and retaliation. They submitted a 10-page letter to the new police reform task force created by County Executive Angela Alsobrooks.
“In hopes that this task force is not just another task force put in place to give the public the illusion of police reform,” said retired Capt. Joe Perez of the National Hispanic Law Enforcement Association.
Their recommendations include hiring more officers of color, requiring police leadership to live in the county, and encouraging officers to stop and report wrongdoing by other officers.
“The county executive has given us the authority to look at everything within the police department to transform this police department to look at and rethink policing and public safety in our county overall,” task force Co-Chair Del. Alonzo Washington said.
Alsobrooks’ office responded to the officers' by saying, “Hector Velez has been interim chief for 35 days, which shows how unreasonable these individuals are. They filed the lawsuit in court, and this matter should not be litigated one press conference at a time or on social media. Unlike the plaintiffs, we believe these matters should be resolved in court in a manner that is fair to both the plaintiffs and fair to the county.”