Neuman announced the results of the task force report on Monday in Annapolis, highlighting the appointment of a new police chief and changes in leadership as signs the department should avoid scandal in the near future.
Former Baltimore City Police Commissioner Fred Bealefeld, who chaired the task force, was blunt in his summary of the report.
"You have a good county police department here," Bealefeld said. "If they see something bad happening, they get out and chase bad guys just as quick as anyone else in this country.
Bealefeld said his task force was impressed with the abilities of the department to enforce laws, and said the biggest concerns stemmed from leadership that has been almost completely replaced this year.
In January, former County Executive John Leopold stepped down from office after he was found guilty of misconduct of office, and several police officers were found to be implicated in Leopold's actions.
As prosecutors prepared for Leopold's trial, then-chief James Teare resigned and was replaced by department-veteran Larry Tolliver. In May, Tolliver resigned amid allegations of unfair treatment toward officers who testified against Leopold.
In July, Neuman announced Kevin Davis as her pick to lead Anne Arundel police.
Davis, who is one month into the job, said it has been one of the most challenging months he has experienced in police leadership.
"The creation of this multiagency task force took courage, took guts, and it has already made us a better police department," Davis said. "When instability exists at the top levels of the local government, all agencies suffer."
The multi-agency task force—composed of law enforcement officials from Baltimore City, Montgomery County and Washington, D.C.—reported the department is otherwise made up of "rank-and-file" members working for the "greater good" of the county.
"It appears that over the last several years, a single scandal involving a very small group of people and their conduct has held the agency captive," the report said. "Solid leadership from the chief of police, and recommendations in this report, should set the Anne Arundel County Police Department on course to be a national role model."
The report listed the following recommendations, some of which have been completed, including selecting a new chief:
- Select a permanent police chief
- Give the chief the ability to choose his executive staff
- Review the structure of the department
- Base promotions on objective criteria
- Address pay compression in the county
- Review internal investigation process
- Consider employing a private Executive Protection Unit
- Increase the oversight ability of the county's ethics commission, possibly with an inspector general
- Consider hiring additional staff to address overtime issues and drafting officers
- Request assistance from the Department of Justice to address law enforcement policies and procedures
"I am grateful to the members of the task force for their selflessness and hard work as we work to remove the cloud that has hung over our police department," Neuman said in a prepared statement. "The task force acknowledged the commitment of our officers and civilian employees and made very good recommendations—some of which we have already addressed."