Oct 19, 2021 - News

Applicants pour in for Philadelphia's new police oversight commission

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Philadelphia has received at least 212 applications so far from individuals seeking to sit on its new Citizens Police Oversight Commission, city spokesperson Kevin Lessard told Axios.

What's happening: The selection panel is considering applications for the independent, nine-member commission on a rolling basis.

  • The deadline to apply is Nov. 5, and the panel is expected to put forward its slate of candidates before the year's end, Lessard said in an email.
  • The city council has final say on who serves on the commission.

State of play: The new commission, which voters approved last year, will be in charge of investigating citizen complaints against police, as well as police use-of-force incidents. It has the power to subpoena officers to participate in probes.

  • Commissioners, who serve as volunteers, will recommend potential charges and discipline.
  • The oversight body will also have an executive director, legal counsel and other staff.

What they're saying: Councilman Curtis Jones, who spearheaded the legislation for the new commission, said he was hoping that the applicants were both geographically and demographically diverse.

  • "We don't want monolithic thought. … To have oversight, we must have insight," he said.

Of note: Commissioners must all live in different police districts in the city.


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