The names of Philadelphia Police officers who are involved in shootings will soon become public information.
Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey says the policy reversal is in step with the 91 recommendations the Department of Justice delivered to the city earlier this year.
It’s been the long established policy of the department to shield the names of officers involved in shootings out of concern for their safety.
But now, Ramsey says the department will publicly release the officers’ name within three days of a shooting, as long as there are no overt threats against the officer or the officer’s family.
Kelvyn Anderson of city’s Police Advisory Commission says keeping the names secret can actually make conditions more dangerous for officers.
“Because that feeds into the types of distrust and simply not believing what the police department has to say when you don’t reveal that information,” Anderson said.
Furthermore, Anderson says it’s a policy change often called for by families who’ve had loved ones shot by police officers.
“It addresses what we’re hearing from the street. Obviously in Philadelphia we’ve had a number of protests and folks calling just for that — for IDs, quite rightfully, of the officers who are involved in these cases, and we’re glad to see that that’s happening finally,” Anderson said.
In a statement, head of the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police union John Mcnesby said of the new policy: “It’s ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous. There’s no reason for it.”