Last month, President Joseph Biden signed an Executive Order to advance police accountability and strengthen the relationship and trust between the law enforcement community and the people they serve. This Executive Order was signed on the second anniversary of the murder of George Floyd and was signed in the presence of the Floyd family and the family of Breonna Taylor.

The deaths of Floyd and Taylor stunned and angered the nation and both deaths sparked a summer of unrest that galvanized many of us into action. This call to action highlighted what Black and Brown communities have always known and have experienced daily in their experiences with law enforcement. The newly seated Citizens Police Oversight Commission (CPOC), created in response to the urgent need for expanded efforts at reform in Philadelphia, supports and applauds the Biden Administration for taking this important step in police reform. This Executive Order addresses several key issues in law enforcement most notably, police misconduct, use of force, and recruitment and training. One of the best ways to affect the culture and climate of policing is to examine who we recruit, how we train them and what they do during their tenure of service.

Earlier this month, the nine commissioners who will lead CPOC were officially confirmed and seated. CPOC, thanks to transformative new legislation, will lead the charge for police reform in Philadelphia. With greatly expanded powers, and a larger staff and budget, the CPOC is ready to begin tackling the challenges of accountability and reform from day one.  We are one step closer to fulfilling our commitment to the residents of Philadelphia.

This is a pivotal time for Police reform both locally and nationally. The voices of our residents, commitment of our leaders and the work of our community stakeholders and oversight agencies have led us to this moment. We invite all concerned residents to join us as we work towards a brighter tomorrow, and we urge PPD and other law enforcement agencies to embrace the wave of change that is currently upon us. Oversight is public safety.