Will Nutter support a new police review board?

    Philadelphia City Councilman Curtis Jones, just starting his second term in Council has achieved the lofty rank of majority leader and as such has issued his legislative agenda for the coming term.

    (This is not something Council members generally do. Most hide in their offices and react to what comes).

    Among Jones’ plans: the creation of “an independent Police Review Commission with an enhanced composition to govern the investigation of complaints alleging misconduct.”

    Jones wants a city charter change to establish the commission, and would require the commission to publish an annual report providing “the number of complaints received for the period covered by the report; a breakdown of the complainants by race, gender, sexual orientation, and age, if known; the disposition of all complaints, including any complaints that were still active at the close of the previous reporting period; and the number of complainants who had a pending charge against them.”

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    It’s generally acknowledged that the current Police Advisory Commission established in the 1990’s has become ineffective.

    A fascinating question is how Mayor Nutter will react to Jones’ initiative. Twenty years ago Nutter was a Council freshman in the seat Jones now holds, and he pushed hard for the creation of a civilian review panel, an effort that led to the current commission.

    I’m guessing the mayor, like Ed Rendell in the 1990’s, will resist the creation of such a body.

    In other news, a flower of bi-partisanship is blooming in Montgomery County.

    Frank Custer, who as spokesman for the Democratic team in the commissioners’ race last year regularly hammered Republican Commission Bruce Castor, has done the former DA a kind turn.

    Yesterday Custer issued a press release which began as follows:

    “If you are home Saturday night, flip on the TV to the Investigation Discovery (ID) channel and catch Montgomery County Commissioner and former county District Attorney Bruce Castor giving expert commentary on a crime show detailing the Craig Rabinowitz case in Lower Merion in 1997.”

    Nice work, Frank. If they had that kind of attitude in Congress, we could get the deficit under control.

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