Pittsburgh activists urge the creation of a civilian police management council – CBS Pittsburgh
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A group of organizations and local residents are pushing for the creation of a civilian police control council in Pittsburgh.
It would be the first of its kind in Germany.
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The activist group calls this a campaign to collectively control the police. The activists want a democratically elected civil police control council to be created. The nine-member council would have full powers over the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police.
The group hopes to get enough signatures on their petition to have the issue on the November vote.
“This is not an anti-police thing. It’s about building a new city and we need communities that are comfortable with the police and policing in our community and that’s not the case now and it has never been, ”said Randall Taylor, the part the campaign is.
The council would be able to hire, fire, investigate and discipline police officers. The council could set police guidelines and regulations for the department. It could approve and reject budgets and purchases. Finally, the council could negotiate and approve contracts with police unions.
“Will be responsible for all aspects of policing, hiring, firing, discipline, budget, but especially decisions about how, where and when we monitor our communities,” said Taylor.
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This council would replace the current Pittsburgh Citizen Police review body. Citizens would vote on who should join the Council.
Activists gathered in Freedom Corner Thursday evening and collected signatures for a petition.
“Currently only the mayor and the FOP have a say in the work of the police in the city. We feel that this should be diversified so that the community deserves a say in the work of the police, ”said Dakota Castro-Jarrett, who is helping with the campaign.
The organizers say the Police Control Council will hold the police accountable and create more transparency.
“We are the first in the country to do this, and when it goes it will be of historic importance not just for the city of Pittsburgh but for the nation. We believe other cities will follow the Pittsburgh model, ”said Taylor.
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The coalition hopes to get at least 25,000 signatures for their petition, which is double what it takes to get the community police control question on the ballot.