Philadelphia Police Department at risk of losing state accreditation

The back of a Philadelphia police van is seen on a street

Shown is a police vehicle in in Philadelphia, Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The Philadelphia Police Department could lose its accreditation as soon as next week.

The change would be in response to the ‘Driving Equality Bill’ passed by the City Council last year. The law prevents police from stopping drivers for minor traffic violations and was intended to prevent racial disparities amongst traffic stops.

According to a report from Broad + Liberty on Thursday, the bill puts law enforcement agencies at odds with their oath of office because they can’t fully enforce the state’s vehicle code.

Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission (PLEAC) Accreditation Program Coordinator James Adams says this puts Philadelphia Police’s accreditation at risk but residents shouldn’t see an immediate impact on safety.

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“No municipality, including a city of the first class, has the authority to pass an ordinance that supersedes state law, so that’s our sticking point,” Adams said.

“So immediately, are you out on the street going to see a change as far as you know, and services from Philly PD? Probably not,” Adams said. “But long term, are there going to be ramifications? I suspect there probably will.”

PLEAC will discuss Philly PD’s accreditation status next Tuesday.

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