D. Michael Lyles, Esquire
Dear visitor to our website, welcome:
This most recent fiscal year which ended on June 30, 2013 is a picture of an agency well advanced beyond our first year of transition and process improvement in 2011. As of July 1, 2013, County Executive Baker’s initiative to merge the staff of the Human Relations Commission (HRC) with the Office of Community Relations (OCR) has taken hold and produced benefits for those seeking streamlined and customer focused mediation, investigation and prosecution of discrimination complaints. We have fulfilled our promises to produce a quick, confidential and free process for resolving civil rights complaints. Though hard work and severe self-assessment, we have driven the average investigation time on cases down from 550 days in 2011, to just under 180 days in 2013. 180 days or less is the new standard for closing investigations.
Also at the close of the fiscal year, after closing a 132 case back log of stale cases ranging in age from two to seven year, staff completed its second Independent Case Audit, looking at the quality, timing and the effectiveness of investigations and case management. And for the second year of this program, we are pleased to report that our independent assessment showed that we had made some improvements in investigations, report writing and customer service, scoring a solid B Grade. We look forward to continuing to improve every process of the Commission in order that justice may be dispensed quickly, with certainty and precision.
The Human Relations Commission and staff, in addition to tackling the goals laid out in our Annual Report, have launched a bold initiative to combat Human Trafficking in Prince George’s County. We are, at this moment, involved with establishing a Human Trafficking Task Force based in the County and focused on rescuing victims and stemming the tide of this serious civil rights and human rights problem. Many agencies of County government are playing an active role, along with several non-profits and religious institutions, and working with the Commission to secure freedom for many trapped in this modern slave system. The Prince George’s County Human Trafficking Task Force (PGCHTTF) will be working hard this year to improve awareness of the problem and develop strategies to erase it from our midst.
The Human Relations Commission has made great strides in a short period of time to prove that we are an agency dedicated to eradicating discrimination by actively and zealously enforcing the County civil rights laws. As we look to a future without bias, hate and discrimination, we hope to have more opportunities to visit all the communities in the County to tell our story, train citizens on diversity and prosecute, where necessary, valid claims of unlawful discrimination. We thank our many partners in federal, state and local government throughout Maryland and the United States who all see the value in diversity, cultural awareness and fair treatment for all in Housing, Employment, Public Accommodations, Police Interaction, Financial Lending, and Education. Your Prince George’s County Human Relations Commission has a renewed focus on improving every aspect of our service delivery, as we work toward the day when our agency’s mission will no longer be necessary. Call, write or visit us, if we can be of service to you.
D. Michael Lyles, Esquire