Council approves Gardner's appointees to police accountability board

·2 min read

Jul. 6—The Frederick County Council on Tuesday unanimously approved County Executive Jan Gardner's 11 appointees for the county's Police Accountability Board, which will review complaints of misconduct against law enforcement officers.

The board will receive complaints made against Frederick County Sheriff's Office deputies and officers from the Frederick, Brunswick and Thurmont police departments.

The 11-member board will also identify trends in police agencies' disciplinary processes and make recommendations for changing policy, training or supervision.

The county received applications from 112 people, according to documents posted to the council's meeting agenda for Tuesday.

Gardner, Frederick Mayor Michael O'Connor, Brunswick Mayor Nathan Brown, Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird, county Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer Michael Hughes and Margaret Nusbaum, Gardner's chief of staff, interviewed 31 applicants.

Gardner selected Dawn Oram as board chair. Oram has worked more than 25 years in human resource management, managed large committees and chaired meetings, and demonstrated strong organization and communication skills, Gardner wrote in a letter to the County Council.

The board will receive complaints of misconduct and identify trends, but a separate five-person committee will determine whether an officer will be administratively charged. The committee will also recommend discipline.

Oram will serve as a member of the charging committee, and she and Gardner will each appoint two additional members of the public.

Under state law, counties were required to establish Police Accountability Boards by July 1.

The board's 11 members must complete training programs, including from the Maryland Police Training and Standards Commission.

Below are the 11 board members:

— Shannon Bohrer — retired law enforcement

— Robert Effler — military/intelligence; Brunswick resident

— Shawn Goldstein — commercial real estate; Frederick resident

— Ivonne Gutiérrez — human resources/corrections, labor relations; Frederick resident

— Katherine Jones — lawyer; Frederick resident

— Therese Keegan — behavioral health, clinical chaplain; Frederick resident

— Anthony Koomson — international humanitarian aid; Frederick resident

— Nestor "Neal" Machin — IT system engineering and former Marine

— Dawn Oram — human resources.

— Gabrielle Wachter — Project management/writer

— Randolph Waesche Jr. — emergency management; Thurmont resident

The council voted in April to require that the board have at least one Black or African American member and another who is a first- or second-generation immigrant.

The board must also have at least two Frederick residents, one Brunswick resident and one Thurmont resident to ensure representation from each municipality with its own police agency. Under the county's bill, the board must "to the maximum extent practicable" reflect the county's racial, gender and cultural diversity, and include representation from communities that frequently interact with police.

These communities include people who are Black or African American, Latino, LGBTQ, first- or second-generation immigrants, those who are disabled or have behavioral health concerns, and those experiencing homelessness, the bill states.

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