Chief Brito Outlines Department’s Approach to Unbiased Community Policing

The Rockville City Police Department welcomes the opportunity to engage with the community about how the department can take steps to ensure its focus remains on effective, fair, impartial and unbiased community policing that meets the expectations of the law, city leaders and the community, said Rockville City Police Chief Victor Brito in a presentation to the Mayor and Council on June 22.

Rockville’s response to George Floyd’s death included an open letter to the community from Chief Brito on May 28, joint statements by the Mayor and Council, and a video message by Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton and Chief Brito in the days that followed. Find them at RockvilleReports.com/rockville-responds-to-the-death-of-george-floyd. Rockville police also joined the Mayor and Council to support a peaceful protest in Rockville on June 5.

Chief’s Brito’s presentation addressed policing policies and procedures raised by the Campaign Zero nonprofit organization’s #8CANTWAIT movement. Banning chokeholds and requiring officers to attempt de-escalation when responding to calls are two of the policy and procedural changes called for by the campaign. RCPD general orders adhere to best practices and are in line with #8CANTWAIT recommendations.

Chief Brito outlined efforts by RCPD to show accountability and earn the community’s trust, including a body-worn camera program that has been in place for the past three years, as well as a Fair and Impartial Policing training program with the community, focused on implicit bias. He pledged to further those efforts by increasing the frequency of the community trainings.

Chief Brito said the department continues to favor creating a civilian public safety community advisory council and is committed to participating in a community forum on racial justice soon.

For more information, find video of the presentation with the June 22 agenda at www.rockvillemd.gov/AgendaCenter.