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January 13, 2017

Kenney reestablishes Police Advisory Commission, emphasizes goal to strengthen community relations

Mayor Jim Kenney has signed an executive order that reestablishes the Police Advisory Commission that will focus on policy review, investigations and community outreach, officials announced Friday.

The commission will check up on the department's policing implementations recommended by President Barack Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing. The executive order also renews the PAC's ability to investigate and write up annual reports.

RELATED STORY: Police Advisory Commission is public's eyes and ears on Philly officers

The PAC will be made up of 13 voting members that will be appointed by Kenney – five will be chosen by the mayor, four will be nominated by City Council while the final four will nominated by civic and advocacy groups selected by Kenney, according to the executive order signed Thursday.

Members are expected to be appointed in the spring.

“Today, we are reaffirming the City’s commitment to strengthening police-community relations through openness, responsibility and accountability,” said Mayor Kenney in the statement released Friday. “I have faith that the commission will serve as a valuable tool in furthering the good work already being done by Commissioner [Richard] Ross and our officers to protect and serve all Philadelphians, regardless of race, sexual orientation, religion, gender, age or zipcode."

Attorney and chair of the Police Advisory Commission Ronda Goldfein also said the PAC will work to better the department's relationship with the community.

“The Commission provides independent civilian oversight of police activity, which is necessary to strengthen the relationship between Philadelphia’s police and its citizens," she said in a statement.

Obama's task force, established in May 2015, hopes to strengthen community policing "in light of recent events around the country."

Mayor Richardson Dilworth created the city's first Police Review Board in October 1958. 

Read the executive order here