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EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. I -97
POLICE CORRUPTION TASK FORCE


WHEREAS, an honest and accountable police force is essential to the well-being of the citizens of Philadelphia; and

WHEREAS, a widely publicized federal investigation into police corruption and misconduct, in which the Philadelphia Police Department has played, and continues to play, a critical role, has thus far resulted in the criminal conviction and imprisonment of six former police officers; and

WHEREAS, the misdeeds of a few must not be allowed to taint the reputations, honor, courage, and sacrifice of the vast majority of the men and women who serve in the Philadelphia Police Department; and

WHEREAS, in the settlement agreement reached in litigation brought by the NAACP, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Police-Barrio Relations Project, the City of Philadelphia committed to creating a Police Corruption Task Force, to consist of persons with experience and expertise in law enforcement and the criminal justice system, to evaluate certain Police Department operations, policies and procedures, and to make recommendations to enhance the Department's already considerable efforts to fight corruption and misconduct; and

WHEREAS, it is the intention of this Executive Order to preserve the authority and autonomy of the Police Commissioner in the exercise of his duties, while providing the Commissioner and his command staff with assistance in addressing and improving problem areas, and while acting to enhance public confidence in the integrity of the men and women of the Philadelphia Police Department.

NOW, THEREFORE, by the power vested in me in accordance with Section 3100(h) of the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter, it is hereby ordered:

SECTION 1. ESTABLISHMENT OF TASK FORCE.

There is hereby established a Police Corruption Task Force, which shall review systemic issues such as the Philadelphia Police Department's recruitment methods and procedures, training techniques and curriculum, policies and regulations governing situations with potential ethical problems, the methodology of the Internal Affairs Division, the Department's record of internal discipline, and the impact of the collective bargaining process on these issues. The essential function of the Task Force will be to conduct a "blue ribbon" review of the corruption, integrity, and accountability-related functions and operations of the Police Department, and to issue a comprehensive final report, and interim reports if appropriate, regarding the types of changes that need to be implemented in the Police Department to minimize corruption and misconduct.

SECTION 2. MEMBERSHIP.

The Task Force shall consist of seventeen (17) members, plus a Chairperson, appointed by the Mayor and the President of City Council; all eighteen (18) members shall be persons with experience and expertise in law enforcement and the criminal justice system.

Any vacancy occurring during the term of the Task Force may be filled by the Mayor and the President of City Council, in their sole discretion.

SECTION 3. PURPOSE, POWERS, RESPONSIBILITIES, AND FUNCTIONS.

A. Within the scope of the general responsibility of the Task Force set forth in Section 1 of this Order, the Task Force shall have full authority to examine and copy any document or other record prepared, maintained or held by the City of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Police Department, and any other agency or department of the City, excepting only those documents or other records which, in the opinion of the City Solicitor, cannot be so disclosed according to applicable law. While the Task Force may hold such hearings as it believes necessary, it is not intended that such hearings be the focus of its efforts. Rather, it is intended that the work of the Task Force focus upon the development of a report or reports on structural reforms that may be necessary in the Police Department in the areas of corruption, integrity and accountability. Consistent with this focus, the Task Force shall not examine specific incidents of alleged corruption or misconduct.

B. The Task Force shall in its work have the assistance of the Police Department Integrity and Accountability Officer, the Law Department, the Mayor's Office of Policy and Planning, the Headquarters Investigations Unit of the Police Department, and the Police Advisory Commission. In addition, it is expected that appointees to the Task Force will provide certain pro bono staff assistance from their firms or businesses.

SECTION 4. COOPERATION.

A. It is hereby ordered and directed that all Commissioners and heads of all City departments and agencies shall make every reasonable effort to ensure the full cooperation of all persons under their supervision in connection with any inquiry or request from the Task Force.

B. All departments and agencies of the City shall provide to the Task Force upon request any and all documents, records, reports, files or other information relating to any matter within the jurisdiction of the Task Force, excepting only such documents as, in the opinion of the City Solicitor, cannot be so disclosed according to applicable law.

C. No document or information obtained by the Task Force, or created by the Task Force or any of its members, other than the formal report or reports described in Section 1 of this Order, shall be released to the public unless such document is deemed by the City Solicitor to be a public record under the Pennsylvania Right to Know Act, 65 P. S. Section 66.1 et seq.

D. All departments and agencies of the City shall make available to the Task Force such facilities, services, personnel and other assistance as may be necessary to the Task Force for the performance of its duties.

E. All officials and employees of the City shall cooperate fully with the Task Force. Any failure to reasonably cooperate with, interference with, or obstruction of the work of the Task Force shall constitute cause for appropriate discipline, subject to any and all rights, duties, obligations and limitations created by the City Charter, applicable collective bargaining agreements, and any other applicable law, statute, or regulation.

SECTION 5. TERM.

The term of the Task Force shall be no more than twenty-four (24) months, by which time the Task Force shall forward its final report to the Mayor and the President of City Council.

SECTION 6. COMPENSATION.

No compensation shall be paid to Task Force members, except reimbursement for expenses actually incurred pursuant to performing the work of the Task Force.

SECTION 7. CONFIDENTIALITY.

The Task Force and its members shall not make public any confidential document or information derived from any confidential document. The findings and recommendations of the Task Force shall remain confidential until the Task Force formally transmits such findings and recommendations in any interim reports and its final report to the Mayor and the President of City Council, who shall provide for the public release of such reports.

SECTION 8. EFFECTIVE DATE.

This Order shall be effective immediately.

Date: 7 January 1997

Signed: Edward G. Rendell, Mayor

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