Proposal for Permanent Funding Increase to Boost Independence of Oversight Board Will Go Before Voters
Philadelphia, Sept. 14, 2017 – Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District) and Public Safety Committee Chair Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr. (4th District) on Thursday kicked off a charter amendment process to permanently strengthen the Police Advisory Commission, the independent civilian oversight board for the Philadelphia Police Department.
The ordinance and resolution introduced on Thursday propose an amendment to the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter mandating a minimum annual operating budget appropriation to the Police Advisory Commission of $500,000, a 25-percent improvement over the current fiscal year appropriation and a 142-percent improvement over the Fiscal Year 2015 appropriation.
“This legislation establishes a hard appropriations floor — and some much-needed certainty — for the Police Advisory Commission,” Council President Clarke said. “Rather than fluctuating resources from year to year, and from administration to administration, there will be a baseline of $500,000 in annual funding, which is a 142-percent increase over just three years ago. Not only will the Commission be able to meet pressing personnel needs right away, it will be able to plan for both the near- and long-term and establish benchmarks, enhancing not just police accountability but the Commission’s own accountability to the public.”
“Enshrining baseline funding for the Police Advisory Commission will allow this important oversight body to operate with true political independence,” Councilman Jones said. “It is important that as the Commission continues its important work to shore up public trust in the Department, that it is itself also trusted by the citizens served by government.”
If adopted and approved by Council, the decision to establish permanent minimum funding of $500,000 for the Police Advisory Commission will be put to voters in the May 2018 primary. If the Charter amendment is approved by voters, the mandatory minimum appropriation for the Commission will go into effect, and Council will have the authority to legislatively raise the mandatory minimum when deemed necessary.
The ordinance and resolution are below:
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Council President Darrell L. Clarke is serving his second term as the President of Philadelphia City Council. He represents Philadelphia’s 5th Council District. More information at phlcouncil.com/DarrellClarke
Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. has respresented Philadelphia’s 4th District since 2008. He is chair of Council’s Committees on Public Safety; and Commerce and Economic Development. More information at phlcouncil.com/CurtisJonesJr