Friday, October 19, 2007
[PA] Still pressing for a REAL cop dv policy in Pittsburgh
Women push city on domestic violence policy
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, PA
By Jeremy Boren
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Women's groups protesting domestic violence within the Pittsburgh police bureau urged City Council to go further with a proposed ordinance that could prohibit police officers accused of domestic violence from being hired and winning promotions. A public hearing today drew about 30 women -- representing various women and anti-violence groups -- who urged council members to strengthen a proposed domestic violence policy based on one from the International Association of Chiefs of Police. The ordinance is set for a preliminary vote Wednesday. Jeanne Clark, a member of the National Organization for Women in Squirrel Hill, accused Mayor Luke Ravenstahl of moving too slowly to pass rules to punish police accused of abuse...
Clark and representatives from the National Council of Jewish Women and Women's Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh said City Council's new rules should be amended to:
- Prevent police officers facing court-sanctioned protection from abuse orders from being promoted;
- Require police officers being investigated for domestic abuse to give up their city-issued firearms;
- Ensure internal investigations of officers accused of abuse are performed independently, perhaps by the Allegheny County District Attorney's office.
..."The first time a flap came along, you immediately challenge his ability to lead by turning this into a police bashing," [President of the Fraternal Order of Police Fort Pitt Lodge. No. 1, Jim ] Malloy said.
"The Fraternal Order of Police does not want City Council stepping in making a value judgment on whether an officer had a domestic (incident) outside the city and properly turned that information over to the chief of police"
... A final vote on the City Council proposal could happen Oct. 30...
Police Chief Asked To Detail Domestic Abuse Policy
Oct 18, 2007
Representatives from local women’s groups are imploring Pittsburgh City Council to pass an ordinance outlining a domestic abuse policy for the city’s police department. City council is discussing a measure that would regulate its policy about dealing with domestic violence in the police force. This move comes about four months after city police promoted three Pittsburgh police officers who have faced allegations of domestic violence...
Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper outlined his department’s plan to address the issue.
“All allegations of officers involved in domestic violence incidents will be thoroughly investigated and appropriate action will be taken... A domestic violence review board has been appointed... and will convene quarterly, or as needed, to review all domestic violence incidents – and will make direct recommendations to the chief."
But some women’s advocates who spoke at today’s hearing say the plan falls short...
“The mayor promised immediate action to implement zero tolerance policies within the City of Pittsburgh Police Force, and frankly, within the city itself,” Jeanne Clark said... the efforts outlined to date are “far from what we expect... What we have is the fox guarding the chicken coup... It is a totally internal policy. It is a policy with no hope for citizen input. It is a policy that does not help the women of the city feel more comfortable about the police who may need to rescue them.”
Acknowledging the police department’s efforts to address the issue,
Council President Doug Shields asked Chief Harper to present a more detailed explanation of the policy when council meets again next week. ”Something’s being done,” Shields added, “but we’re still not quite sure what that is; so I would ask that prior to Wednesday’s discussion on the bill next week – that we get that information in front of us. I’d like to see a draft of the policy, if nothing else.”
This is from earlier in the month:
Politics on policing
The Duquesne Duke, PA
By Marissa Rosenbaum
Oct 11 2007
...The Citizen Police Review Board held the first of eight meetings analyzing key events that affect local law enforcement in the past decade and their impact on Pittsburgh on Tuesday, Oct. 9. The panel participants included Rich Lord, a reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Jeanne Clark of the National Organization of Women; Robert Swartzwelder, a trainer with the Pittsburgh SWAT team; and event moderator Chuck Bosetti, former Vice President and Legal Chair of the Fraternal Order of Police, (F.O.P), a Pittsburgh Police Officer and a freelance writer for the Post-Gazette... There are currently 35 officers in the Pittsburgh Police Bureau facing domestic violence allegations and, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Council President Doug Shields is attempting to pass a law that would allow the city to take “a case-by-case approach to domestic abuse allegations”...
“Politics affect anything of everything in this town,” Bosetti said. “If you can’t expect honest behavior to prevail, something is wrong”...
The next meeting, which is opened to anyone involved with or interested in criminal justice, will be held at 6 p.m., Oct. 23, 2007, at the Kingsley Community Center on Frankstown Avenue.