PHILADELPHIA – Today, Mayor Kenney reestablished the Police Advisory Commission (PAC) through executive order. The order directs that the Commission will consist of thirteen members and that it will have three main focuses: policy review, community outreach and investigations. A copy of the executive order is available HERE.
“Today, we are reaffirming the City’s commitment to strengthening police-community relations through openness, responsibility and accountability,” said Mayor Kenney. “I have faith that the Commission will serve as a valuable tool in furthering the good work already being done by Commissioner Ross and our officers to protect and serve all Philadelphians, regardless of race, sexual orientation, religion, gender, age or zipcode. I want to thank the members of the Police Community Oversight Board and the staff of the Police Advisory Commission for their help in developing this executive order.”
As part of its responsibility to conduct policy review, the PAC is expected to conduct periodic review of the Police Department’s implementation of the recommendations by President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing and the Department of Justice. While these responsibilities were previously held by a separate, recently-created entity, the Police Community Oversight Board, the Board will be folded into PAC, in order to reduce confusion and duplication of efforts.
“This is an efficient way to keep the needle moving of the right direction with the implementation of community policing,” said Councilman Curtis Jones. “I look forward to working with the Commission’s members.”
As part of its responsibility to conduct investigations, the Commission will focus on systemic issues in the Department or within a police district. PAC retains the power to subpoena and conduct investigations under this executive order. In addition to conducting these investigations and upholding the other two primary responsibilities outlined previously, the Commission will also produce a public annual report setting out its material accomplishments and recommendations from the preceding year.
Attorney Ronda Goldfein, who chairs the Police Advisory Commission, said, “the Commission provides independent civilian oversight of police activity, which is necessary to strengthen the relationship between Philadelphia’s police and its citizens. We appreciate the administration’s continued support for the Police Advisory Commission as demonstrated by Mayor Kenney’s new executive order.”
The Commission’s members, who will be appointed by Spring of 2017, will consist of thirteen voting members, who are appointed by the Mayor based on recommendations from civic, advocacy, legal and law enforcement organizations as well as City Council and relevant city agencies, including the Office of Black Male Engagement, the Office of LGBT Affairs and the Commission on Human Relations. To date, the administration has increased the Commission’s funding by nearly $150,000 and grown its paid staff by 50 percent. Any additional appropriations will be announced in March as part of the FY18 budget proposal.