Allegheny County Council Moves Toward Police Review Board With Rocky Start

Robert Mangino
July 11, 2018 - 7:46 pm
Allegheny County Courthouse

PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – Allegheny County Council narrowly voted to begin the exploration of creating a countywide police review board.

The passage of the motion by 8 to 6 is the first of many steps required to create such a body. It allows for four public meetings to be held to gather information in order to determine the viability of the board.

Citizens on the board would review police actions and make recommendations.

The City of Pittsburgh has had its own citizens police review board for over a decade.

Calls for the creation of such a board came in the wake of the fatal shooting of unarmed 17-year-old Antwon Rose by East Pittsburgh Police Officer Michael Rosfeld.

There was a large demonstration by advocates calling on council to vote for the motion prior to Tuesday evening’s meeting at which some demonstrators also testified.

District 11 County Council Representative Paul Klein told the KDKA Radio Afternoon News he voted for the exploration in response to the current social climate.

“The public is looking for greater levels of accountability and increased levels of transparency,” Klein said. “We know that it’s important that we let the public know that we are aware of these problems, we are aware of the challenges and that we create some kind of a mechanism to make sure we are holding people accountable.”

At Large Council Representative Samuel DeMarco III is against the measure that he believes should go to state legislators. He told the KDKA Radio Afternoon News the board would be an overreach encroaching on the power of the over 100 municipalities throughout Allegheny County.

“Allegheny County we have no authority over these municipalities. They’re independent governing bodies; we have no authority over their police forces.”

All municipalities would have to approve of the oversight.

Those opposed are also weary of the process and money required to create the board.

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