GLOVER ESSAYS: community
control of food, fuel, housing, health care,
planning, education, finance.
Police Integrity Congress
by Paul Glover * December 2014
Full employment is the essential solution to both crime and police brutality, because jobs fight crime better than police can. But 33% of Philadelphia men are unemployed. Many of these become angry and desperate, which makes police trigger-happy.
However, to do the tough job we taxpayers demand, officers must be examples of bravery and restraint. When police officers respect our lives they're the front line of American liberty. When police attack innocent people they trash America. The good officers need to be encouraged and rewarded. Bad officers need to be promptly removed.
Because the Police Advisory Commission is so often overruled by the Police Commissioner, the public needs direct control of police standards. We need an elected body authorized to evaluate, reward, sanction, hire and fire police officers and supervisors. This will reduce abuse by police and reduce taxpayer costs of courts, jails, prison, and lawsuits. Respect for police will be restored by community oversight.
Therefore, we residents of Philadelphia hereby assert control of the hiring, conduct and dismissal of our police officers and the Police Commissioner, by convening the Police Integrity Congress (PIC).
The Police Integrity Congress (PIC) shall be a civic organization independent of Philadelphia city government. The PIC shall elect the Police Integrity Board. The Board's decisions shall have legal power to preempt decisions by the City of Philadelphia Police Department, including the Mayor and Police Commissioner.
Powers and Obligations:
The Police Integrity Board shall have the authority and obligation to:
* interview patrol officer applicants.
* vote to hire or not hire police officers.
* set minimum employment standards for patrol officers.
* review the resumes of police officer applicants to confirm conformity with Congress standards. Among these standards shall be:
-- minimum age 25
-- IQ of 110+
-- clean or expunged arrest record
-- passage of exam which includes basic questions of municipal law, civil liberties, civil rights, emergency medical aid
-- passage of exam to determine physical fitness and agility
-- current residents of Philadelphia minimum five (5) years
* convene in special session within one day when any officer shoots a person.
* publish online promptly all affidavits, videos, and official reports pertaining to officer involved shootings.
* maintain public online records of all praise and complaint regarding each officer.
* maintain public online records of use of force, arrests and ticketing by each officer. These shall be summarized in personnel charts.
* maintain public online records of the disposition of these arrests and tickets, including the officer's attendance at court. Summary presented also as chart.
* define standards for community policing, including the seasonal proportion of foot patrol, bicycle patrol, mounted and squad car officers; use of force; protection of political demonstrations.
* define incentives such as pay raises and promotions for officers whose records stay clean.
* define disincentives such as barring promotion of officers whose records are blemished.
* define standards for probation and summary firing.
* define and require officer and senior officer participation in ongoing workshops regarding current law and proper engagement with suspects.
* require an end to stop-and-frisk.
* require an end to no-knock home invasion.
* release nonviolent offenders from jail.
require prompt and speedy trials for defendants.
* require an end to collaboration with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
* provide private hotline for internal Police Department whistleblowers.
* require scrapping of military hardware and crowd control weapons and monitors, with proceeds of scrap sale to afterschool programs.
* assist the search for candidates for Police Commissioner
* interview candidates for Police Commissioner
* select Commissioner candidates for public interview at the congress
* publish Commissioner candidate evaluations online
* recommend preferred Commissioner candidate/s to Mayor of Philadelphia
* commend and reward the Police Commissioner, captains, and lieutenants for raising standards of community policing and internal police culture
* have the authority to fire or sanction the Police Commissioner for:
-- blocking dismissal of an officer urged by the Board
-- failing to transfer records fully and promptly to the Board's website database
-- failing to meet with the Board as requested
-- failing to raise standards of police culture
Election and Tenure:
The Police Integrity Congress shall elect the Police Integrity Board which consists of seven (7) members whose nominees will be presented at an annual congress of nonprofit civic organizations not affiliated with police-- such as Neighborhood Networks, PACDC, United Block Captains Association. This Congress shall also select five (5) alternate members to replace Board members as needed. Candidates for the Board will disclose their family relationship/s to any current employee of the Philadelphia Police Department.
Four members of the PIB shall be residents of Philadelphia's lowest income quartile neighborhoods as defined by the most recent United States census. Three members shall be residents of Philadelphia's middle income quartile neighborhoods, as defined by the most recent United States census. None may be employees of any police department or their spouses.
To the first Board elected, those three receiving the highest votes shall receive three (3) year terms. The next two highest vote-getters shall receive two (2) year terms. The next two highest vote-getters shall receive one (1) year terms. All members elected by this congress thereafter shall serve a single two (2) year term before replacement. Ballots shall be secret.
Any Board member who misses two (2) meetings unexcused shall be replaced before the next monthly meeting. The community congress shall have the right to recall and dismiss any Board member for any reason.
The Congress may establish committees from among Police Integrity Congress members. The committees shall recommend actions to the Board. Committees may include, among others:
-- Officer Candidate Review and Hiring
-- Investigative Unit
-- Public Communications
-- Relations with Commissioner and Fraternal Order of Police
-- Standards of Engagement
-- Elections & Qualifications of Electors
-- Website & Database
-- PIC bank account, if any, shall be with Philadelphia Federal Credit Union.
-- members shall serve without pay other than for related expenses such as transportation and meeting refreshments
-- costs of printing reports and minutes
-- costs of website design and maintenance
-- office manager
-- office rent and utilities
Green Jobs Philly full employment plan: http://www.issuu.com/metroeco/docs/greenjobsphilly
Glover is founder of Ithaca HOURS local currency, Citizen Planners of Los Angeles, the Philadelphia Orchard Project and other programs. Former teacher of urban studies at Temple University. Author six books.