Thursday, June 16, 2011

More Police Accountability Measures Introduced

Pittsburgh community groups strongly support a new amendment to add more police accountability measures to a package called the “Jordan Miles Public Safety Reform Agenda.”

Chairwoman Brandi Fisher of the Alliance for Police Accountability says the amended bills would call for a code of conduct for off-duty officers, and require reports to be filed any time a citizen is frisked.

Fisher says those reports may make officers only consider pat-downs when they are absolutely necessary.

City Solicitor Dan Regan says he’s concerned that the information the bill calls for is confidential, and would be illegal for the police department to submit.

However, Council discovered that Regan had been sent the unamended version of the bill by mistake. Councilman Doug Shields says the amendments don’t require any personal information to be publicized; he says it only requires statistical data to show police performance. The legislation has been held for a week so the Solicitor can review it in the meantime.

The proposed amendments from Councilman Ricky Burgess would augment three standing police accountability bills, requiring: cameras in police cars; paid leave for officers under investigation; and the accreditation of the Pittsburgh Police.

The package was created in response to the Jordan Miles incident of January 2010. The former CAPA student was walking, unarmed, when he was forcefully accosted by three Pittsburgh policemen.