Government official requests Philadelphians put pressure on Department of Justice to release the Collaborative Reform Review of Philadelphia Police Department.
During my company’s 2014 end-of-the-year online town hall discussion, entitled “Black Men, Police Officers and a Post-Ferguson America,” Mr. Greg Brinkley – an activist who in July of 2014 testified about officer-involved shootings in Philadelphia at City Hall before the Department of Justice – questioned whether or not the appointment of Philadelphia Police Commissioner, Charles Ramsey, to co-chair the Task Force on 21st Century Policing would comprise the investigation (and the release of its findings) into the Philadelphia Police Department.
Mr. Kelvyn Anderson, Executive Director, Philadelphia Police Advisory Commission, replied to Mr. Brinkley’s inquiry by informing him this was the first time the DOJ had done this type of review in the City, but that he was hopeful for a fair outcome given the federal department’s “good reputation.”
Mr. Anderson, who will be among the panelists speaking and listening at the Philly After Ferguson town hall, hosted by Catalyst for Change Church, was expecting the first of three reports to be released in late December, early January at the latest.
With one day left until a new month begins and no explanation as to why the report has been delayed, the civilian oversight practitioner who resides in West Philadelphia today authored a letter to Ronald L. Davis, Director, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, inquiring about the status of the ongoing Collaborative Reform Review of the Philadelphia Police Department.
The letter which was obtained by Techbook Online reads in part:
“The individuals and organizations that brought very serious concerns and testimony to the table around police shootings in Philadelphia are anxious to evaluate the outcome of the review for themselves. While the events in Ferguson, MO and around the U.S. that resulted in the formation of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing are dominating public attention, the ongoing reviews your office has undertaken in Philadelphia, Baltimore, MD and Spokane WA hold tremendous potential for very specific improvements in the short term, but only if citizens believe that collaboration means their views, input and evaluations of the process are as valuable as those offered by law enforcement.”
When reached for comment, Mr. Anderson gave the DOJ the benefit of the doubt, saying they may be “busy” and it’s a “huge task force.” However, he did note that Commissioner Ramsey and the police dependent has already been briefed on the report and have begun making changes as a result, so the report is surely finished.
Mr. Anderson added:
“This process was supposed to be done in the light on day. This Collaborative Reform Review was structured in such a way as to gather public input and support.”
Mr. Anderson informed me that Spokane, Washington, started their review after Philadelphia’s and they’ve already received their report. He’s afraid that the silence from the DOJ will cause the public to withdraw from this process, and as a result, cynicism will grow.
Mr. Anderson’s letter is already in the mail and he’s asking every Philadelphian that cares about quality policing and good government to call the DOJ and “demand they release the report.”
Techbook Online caught up with Mr. Greg Brinkley by phone this morning and he said he will call the DOJ today. He also offered up praise for Mr. Anderson and the Philadelphia Police Advisory Commission.
“I’ve been watching him closely lately and I’m starting to see what he’s trying to do. He’s asking for accountability. He’s not afraid to ask and demand things that are unpopular. I’m gaining confidence in him and the agency. His comments and his support for legitimate reforms is great and I appreciate that he’s not just sitting on issues, but taking a stance.”
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