County Council interviewing 16 finalists for Policing Advisory Commission
More than 200 residents applied for 13 positions
Montgomery County Council members began interviewing applicants for the Policing Advisory Commission on Monday.
The Montgomery County Council is doing interviews this week with 16 finalists for a new Policing Advisory Commission.
More than 200 people applied for one of 13 spots on the commission, which will advise county officials on how to improve policing and community trust. The commission also will recommend policies and procedures for the police department.
Each County Council member can nominate one person, for a total of nine commission seats.
The remaining four positions will be appointed by County Executive Marc Elrich. Two of those four will be youth members.
In addition, Police Chief Marcus Jones and Fraternal Order of Police President Torrie Cooke, or their designees, will be ex officio members on the commission.
The council began its interviews of applicants on Monday. The interviews will go through Thursday.
Decisions on the commission members are expected by the end of July.
According to Council Member Hans Riemer, the 16 finalists were decided through a process in which council members could choose up to three people to be interviewed. Each council member submitted their choices to the council clerk and are not aware of who nominated whom.
The legislation for the commission, which was signed into law on Dec. 12, calls for the chosen members to reflect a variety of ethnicities, socioeconomic status, religion, age, gender identity, and other factors.
The council has interviewed eight applicants so far. During interviews, the applicants brought up issues they would like to tackle including transparency and accountability for police, the public image of the department, the need for more mental health response to emergency calls, and community input on policing.
All said they support the Black Lives Matter movement.
The 16 interviewees are:
● Jennifer Boston of Spencerville: A program manager of So Others Might Eat, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit that serves people experiencing poverty and homelessness.
● 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.
● Herman Cohen of Silver Spring: A special investigator for the U.S. Department of Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency, and a licensed private detective for Due Diligence. He also serves as the vice chair of the county’s Animal Matters Hearing Board, and on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of Leisure World of Maryland. He chairs the Leisure World Security Advisory Committee. He was endorsed by another member of the Covenants Committee of a condo association.
● Erik Devereux of Silver Spring: A professional policy analyst, researcher and program evaluator. He is a senior consultant for Social Science Consultants in New Haven.
● Mellissa Campbell Duru of Silver Spring: A regulatory corporate securities lawyer for the United States Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C.
● Luis Fernandez of Rockville: A T-Mobile senior sales trainer
● 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.
● Ana Carolina Martinez of Burtonsville: A Montgomery County lead organizer for CASA in Hyattsville.
● Shabab Ahmed Mirza of Silver Spring: A policy professional . She most recently served as a research assistant on LGBTQ progress for the Center for American Progress. She was endorsed by the LGBTQ Democrats of Montgomery County.
● Edmund Morris of Rockville: An entrepreneur, clinician and researcher. He was endorsed by the LGBTQ Democrats of Montgomery County.
● Jerome Price of Rockville: A social studies teacher at Richard Montgomery High School.
● Justice Reid of Bethesda: A general manager of the Northeast Enterprise for Microsoft.
● Vernon Ricks Jr. 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 Salazar 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: Most recently executive director of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation.
Briana Adhikusuma can be reached at email@example.com.