Police Oversight Board Watch – Allegheny County, PA and Bradenton, FL
The American Police Officers Alliance continuing to engage the public on why police oversight boards do not work. Recently, two jurisdictions, Allegheny County in Pennsylvania, and the city of Bradenton, Florida, have begun exploring police oversight committees. . We have begun working with responsible police leadership and elected officials to ensure that best practices are followed and a strong foundation is set so the oversight board is a success.
Today, we are highlighting two jurisdictions: Bradenton, Florida (population 57,644), and Allegheny County, Pennsylvania (county-wide population of 1.223 million).
Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, which contains the Steel City of Pittsburgh is also considering an oversight board. Citizens in Pennsylvania’s second largest county are leading the push for a countywide civilian oversight board over numerous claims of excessive use of force over the past 20 years. The proposed board would have the power to investigate complaints of officer misconduct and research policies on community relations. The one exception is that the proposed board will have no formal power to discipline an officer for wrongdoing. Pennsylvania State Senator Wayne Fontana has introduced legislation at the state level that would require all the police departments in Allegheny County to participate.
Bradenton, Florida which is located 40 minutes outside of Tampa has become the latest target for backers of police oversight boards. City Council member Harold Byrd proposed a new citizen review board in response to Manatee County NAACP President Rodney Jones being forcibly removed from a council meeting. Jones was voicing concerns over alleged police brutality by the Bradenton Police. The city’s charter review committee would consider the proposal. Voters in Bradenton may get to decide on the oversight board if the review committee approves this measure.
We will continue to monitor developments in Allegheny County and Bradenton. Stay tuned for more details. If you or someone you know lives in Allegheny County or Bradenton, please contact your local council members and tell them you oppose these misguided proposals.