TOWSON — The Baltimore County government has announced the nine nominees selected by County Executive Johnny Olszewski to serve on Baltimore County’s Police Accountability Board (PAB).
The Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021 mandated the establishment of PABs for all statewide jurisdictions. Baltimore County’s was established in May 2022.
As a panel of civilians tasked with collaborating with law enforcement and county officials to make policing-improvement recommendations the PAB will consist of nine members, once confirmed by the county council. Seven PAB members will represent each of Baltimore County’s seven councilmanic districts and the remaining two will be at-large representatives.
“A strong relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve is vital, and accountability is fundamental in building trust,” Olszewski said according to a county government release.
“I’m confident that these nominees will use their varied personal experiences and unique perspectives to help shape a set of recommendations that will improve law enforcement and public safety countywide.”
Those interested in serving on the board were invited to submit applications which were later reviewed and discussed by an internal panel. More than 40 candidates applied to sit on the PAB, according to the county executive’s office.
PAB members’ duties will primarily consist of:
• Hold quarterly meetings with heads of law enforcement agencies, and otherwise work with law enforcement agencies and the County government to improve matters of policing.
• Appoint civilian members to charging committees and trial boards.
• Receive complaints of police misconduct filed by members of the public.
• On a quarterly basis, review outcomes of disciplinary matters considered by charging committees.
• Submit a report to the governing body of the County by December 31 of each year that identifies any trends in the disciplinary process of County police officers, and makes recommendations on changes to policy that would improve police accountability in the County.
Nominees were present at the county council Sept. 13 work session and are as follows, according to the county government:
• District 1 – Peter Fitzpatrick is a registered nurse with Children’s National Hospital where he supervises operations of the air and ground pediatric team. Prior to his position at Children’s National Hospital, Mr. Fitzpatrick spent 10 years at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He also served as a paramedic and firefighter with the Mount Airy Volunteer Fire Company. Mr. Fitzpatrick resides in Catonsville.
• District 2 – Linda Shields is an attorney with more than 22 years of experience, most recently serving as an assistant city solicitor assigned to the Baltimore Police Department’s Internal Affairs and Public Integrity Division. Prior to practicing law, Ms. Shields worked for the Social Security Administration. She resides in Pikesville.
• District 3 – Bishop Ralph Dennis is Senior Pastor Emeritus at Kingdom Worship Center where he served as senior pastor for 35 years before retiring. Bishop Dennis also worked in the private sector over 30 years with companies including Exxon/Mobile, Frito Lay, Inc. and Hanes DSD. Bishop Dennis served for 19 years on the Executive Board and vice president of fiscal affairs of the Joint College of African American Pentecostal Bishops Congress. He resides in Sparks.
• District 4 – John Chambers has more than 30 years of law enforcement experience and training. He began his career with the Baltimore City Police Department where he served in various capacities including patrol, neighborhood services as a community liaison, water patrol and TAC special operations. He is the current Senior Operations Supervisor for External Public Safety at Johns Hopkins Medicine. Mr. Chambers is a Woodlawn native and resides in Randallstown.
• District 5 – Francis Ward spent nearly 30 years as a 9-1-1 police dispatcher with Baltimore County Government. He currently serves as a District Court Constable. Francis has been active with numerous volunteer fire companies including Providence Volunteer Fire and White Marsh Volunteer Fire Department where he served as First Lieutenant. Mr. Ward resides in Nottingham. Ward will not be present at this evening’s work session.
• District 6 – Clare Petersberger has served as minister with the Towson Unitarian Universalist Church since 1999. Reverend Petersberger spent over 10 years as a volunteer Chaplain for the Baltimore County Fire and Police Departments and is a former board member of Planned Parenthood of Maryland. Rev. Petersberger resides in Towson.
• District 7 – Dawn Dishon-Feuer is currently an office manager and personal assistant for Santoro Psychological Services in Howard County. She has more than 20 years of administrative and clerical experience. Ms. Dishon-Feuer is an active volunteer who serves on the board of the Essex Day Festival, Holabird Middle School PTSA, Dundalk Independence Day Parade Committee, Treasurer of the Eastern Regional Lions Club, and board member of the Dundalk Renaissance Corporation. She resides in Dundalk.
• Kara White (District 6 resident) – White is a social worker with five years post-graduate experience in State services and homeless services. Prior to joining Baltimore County Adult Protective Services, Ms. White served as a case manager for AIRS and behavioral health therapist at Healthcare for the Homeless, both located in Baltimore. She received a Master’s Degree in social work from Widener University in 2017 and has experience leading DEI and LGBT elder trainings. She resides in Parkville.
• Nigeria Rolling-Ford (District 4 resident) – Rolling-Ford is a paralegal with nearly 20 years of experience in the private sector. Prior to joining Ballard Spahr, Nigeria served as a legal secretary in the intellectual property division at McDermott Will & Emery LLP. She is the current president of the Kings Park Homeowners Association and serves as the communications chair of the Randallstown NAACP. She is also active with the Deer Park Middle PTA. Ms. Rolling-Ford resides in Randallstown.
The nominees have been submitted to the County Council for discussion for the work session scheduled on Sept. 13 and confirmation at its Sept. 19 legislative session.