Philadelphia Police Putting Most DOJ Recommendations Into Effect


The Philadelphia Police Department is at work on implementing 82 of the 91 recommendations made by the U.S. Justice Department this year, reports Philadelphia Magazine. They've fully implemented 20, partially implemented one and are working on another 60. The other nine are still in the planning stage. DOJ's Community Oriented Policing Services “collaborative reform” initiative, dealt with use-of-force rules (both deadly and non-deadly), basic recruit and on-the-job training, and investigations. Departing Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey requested the report after a spike in police-involved shootings in 2013.

DOJ issued a 96-page assessment that detailed the progress of each recommendation. Some are simple: The phrase “Excessive force will not be tolerated” was added to one directive. Cops who use an electronic control weapon (such as a taser) now have to fill out a use-of-force report. Police officers are now more restricted as to when they can fire at a moving vehicle. Sleeper holds are now explicitly banned except in exi­gent circumstances when life or grave bodily harm are at risk. The police department has added a Medal of Tactical De-escalation award. Partially implemented recommendations include the creation of a Reality-Based Training Unit that can help officers develop de-escalation skills — previously, most recruits said they received only a lecture — and the coming implementation of a permanent office related to of­ficer safety, tactics, and use of force.

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