Md. law enforcement ready to implement Anton’s law

MARYLAND – Local law enforcement are in a new era of policing in Maryland as they prepare for the recently enacted Anton’s law. One local sheriff tells us, even through all the controversy that surrounded this law, holding police accountable is key in moving forward for everyone.

Worcester County Sheriff Matt Crisafulli tells 47 ABC, they just want to create a closer relationship with citizens. “I got into this job 26 years ago and I firmly believe that the vast majority of our men and women get into this job for one specific reason and that word is called community,” says Sheriff Crisafulli.  He adds, “It should be the culture for law enforcement organizations, we must hold our men and women accountable especially in today’s world.”.

Anton’s law will make personnel records of officers available to the public. The law requires a certain custodian to allow inspection of certain records by certain persons, providing that a record relating to an administrative or criminal investigation of misconduct by a police officer is not a personnel record for certain purposes.

The law also adjusts the no-knock warrant to only be done between the hours of 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. and it must be approved in writing by a police supervisor and the State’s Attorney. Sheriff Crisafulli says, he has concerns and that could come with some consequences. “Such as not apprehending a dangerous individual or potentially the destruction of evidence also it could hinder a successful prosecution so that is of a concern to us.” He adds, “It’s the safety of the officer of the deputy that’s of the utmost concern to law enforcement officials.”

The Sheriff explains that opening personnel records, also poses a concern. “But I am a little disappointed that some of the information that’s considered to be sensitive personnel information is going to be available to the public on our brave men and women, even if these complaints are unsubstantiated or frivolous.

However, local lawmakers say, this is a huge step in creating much needed trust between civilians and law enforcement. “Public information is important and I think it will certainly keep the officers on their toes, saying this information is transparent,” says Speaker Pro Tem Delegate, Sheree Sample-Hughes.

She tells us, through this law, they hope to continue bringing law enforcement and community members to the table to better understand one another and give suggestions to make sure situations like the Anton Black case, don’t happen again. “Those type of things are good tools but we’re always going to find ourselves just tightening our belt a little bit more or seeing what works and seeing how we could make it more effective in our communities,” says Delegate Sample-Hughes.

Delegate Sample-Hughes goes onto talk about how this transitional phase of police reform will go on to affect change in other states as well. “I think it just puts us in a better place and position to help our colleagues in other states and bring this issue to a close and really begin to save lives and to work with one another,” says Delegate Sample-Hughes.

However, Sheriff Crisafulli says if this law is the step in the direction to better serve the community then they’re willing to do just that. “We owe that to them and they deserve nothing but the best and my men and women are prepared to deliver the best product that they can to our residence.” He adds, “It can’t just be a one stop shop, it has to be a fluid every day partnership that we’re trying to build with all the residence that we serve.”

Delegate Sample-Hughes also tells 47 ABC, to move forward you have to make change, and this law is a part of that.

Even though Sheriff Crisafulli says there will need to be some major adjustments moving forward, and safety is key, a working relationship with the community can only go up from here.

The law is in effect as of today, and if you want to read more about it just click here.

Categories: Local News, Local Politics, Maryland