Council approves 13 residents for new police commission
Were chosen from more than 200 applicants
The Montgomery County Council unanimously approved 13 members to the Policing Advisory Commission on Tuesday.
Photo from Montgomery County Police
Thirteen residents were selected out of more than 200 applicants to serve on a Montgomery County commission that will advise officials on policing matters.
The 13 members were unanimously approved on Tuesday by the Montgomery County Council. Nine were chosen by council members and four were chosen by County Executive Marc Elrich.
The council interviewed 16 finalists.
Police Chief Marcus Jones and Fraternal Order of Police President Torrie Cooke, or their designees, will be ex officio members on the commission, which will have a total of 15 members.
The legislation for the commission was signed into law on Dec. 12 and calls for the members to reflect a variety of ethnicities, socioeconomic status, religion, age, gender identity, and other factors.
The county’s Policing Advisory Commission will recommend policies and programs and conduct an annual forum for community input on policing, as well as other duties.
The members chosen by the council are:
● Cherri Branson of Silver Spring: A vice president of the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP. She previously served as the county’s procurement director for more than three years and as County Council member for an interim term for a year in 2014.
● Caroline Frederickson of Silver Spring: A senior fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice and visiting professor of practice at Georgetown Law School
● Jenn Lynn of Germantown: An executive director of Upcounty Community Resources Inc. in Germantown, commissioner of the Montgomery County Commission for People with Disabilities and owner of Empowering Autism Caregivers. She also serves as a consultant for Humana Government Military and is a freelance writer.
● Shabab Ahmed Mirza of Silver Spring: A research assistant on LGBTQ progress for the Center for American Progress. She was endorsed by the LGBTQ Democrats of Montgomery County.
● Jerome Price of Rockville: A U.S. and African American history teacher at Richard Montgomery High School.
● Justice Reid of Bethesda: A general manager of the Northeast Enterprise for Microsoft.
● Vernon Ricks of Potomac: A vice president of the Board of Directors of Montgomery Community Media, chair of the Montgomery County Maryland Chief of Police African American Community Liaison Committee and member of the county’s Alcohol Beverage Advisory Board.
● Nadia Sandi of Silver Spring: A union organizer for LiUNA Mid-Atlantic. She previously served as a legislative aide for Council Member Will Jawando in 2019.
● Eric Sterling of Chevy Chase: Executive director of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation.
The members chosen by Elrich are:
● Robin Gaster of Silver Spring: President of Incumetrics Inc., visiting scholar at George Washington University Institute of Public Policy, and non-resident fellow at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.
● Alicia Hudson of Silver Spring: A hearing examiner for the Child and Family Services Agency of the Office of Fair Hearings and Appeals in Washington, D.C.
● Dalbin Osorio of Gaithersburg (youth member age 26-35): Program manager for children of intensive needs at the Montgomery County Collaboration Council.
● Jasmine Williams of Clarksburg (youth member age 25 or under): A freshman student studying justice and law at American University in Washington, D.C. She is a 2020 graduate of Clarksburg High School and served as a junior legislative aide under Council Member Hans Riemer in June 2019.
Ricks was selected to serve as chair and Branson will serve as vice chair. The commission’s term will end on July 31, 2023.
At the County Council’s meeting on Tuesday, Riemer said that the commission initiative was timely for the ongoing national conversation about race and policing.
“It’s so positive that we have something in this moment to be able to bring people in in a different way and create an institutional structure to be able to hear and get feedback from active people in the community about what best practices are and should be with our police and public safety mission,” he said.
Council Member Will Jawando said it was difficult to narrow down the list of applicants and choose members from the interviewees. He encouraged applicants to stay engaged and become involved in other ways with county government.
“This is one of the hardest decisions that I had to make, even to decide who we were going to interview,” he said. “This list was so good of the 200-plus applicants.”
Council President Sidney Katz echoed Jawando’s comments.
“Everyone that applied could have easily been on this. … There would have been a lot of people I would have liked to interview but we didn’t have the space,” he said.
Briana Adhikusuma can be reached at email@example.com.