WILMINGTON – New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer applauded the work of New Castle County Council in passing an ordinance that makes New Castle County the jurisdiction in the state to establish a Police Accountability Board. The ordinance passed by the count 10-0 with two not voting and one absent. The soon to be signed ordinance will enshrine the 13-person board (11 voting and 2 non-voting ex-officio members of law enforcement) in county code. Establishing the board was mandated by state law HB 206, which requires all Delaware police departments to establish police accountability boards to advise those agencies on policy, training and other matters. Delaware police agencies are required to gain accreditation from the Delaware Police Accreditation Commission by July 1, 2028, standardizing many policies and procedures across all 51 law enforcement agencies in the state.
"Government must be accountable in every way in every community. That applies to me. That applies to our police officers. County residents now have a seat at the table when it comes to law enforcement accountability,” said County Executive Meyer. “The creation of this board is the result of numerous productive meetings with criminal justice stakeholders from across New Castle County, including the State’s Office of Defense Services, NAACP, our police department, ACLU, Delaware Center for Justice, and Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League. This new democratic body will have insights and make important recommendations to improve public safety for New Castle County residents.”
Ordinance 23-148, which can be read HERE, outlines specific details about the board including the number of residents who will serve on the board, how frequently they will meet, and what the actual powers are in the board.
“We are absolutely thrilled about the establishment of this New Castle County police accountability board, as it marks a monumental step in the right direction,” said Jennifer Thompkins, President & CEO of Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League. “This long-awaited development demonstrates our society's collective commitment to positive change. With its creation, we can have a process that is dedicated to reviewing, addressing and aid in updating policy and practices within the police department. Moreover, it symbolizes a significant turning point in our ongoing pursuit of justice and fairness for all members of society.”
The New Castle County Police Accountability Board will include 11 voting board members and two non-voting members. Eight of the voting members will be recommended by outside organizations to the County Executive with the advice and consent of County Council. Those organizations and the members would need to meet certain criteria that are defined within the Ordinance. Three additional members would be appointed by the County Executive with advice and consent of County Council. The voting members would be paid like other paid boards, $100 per meeting and they would serve for 2-year terms.