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Pittsburgh Police Accountability Bill Held Again

The leadership of Pittsburgh's Bureau of Police is at odds with the Citizens Police Review Board and several community organizations when it comes to public reports on certain police-related statistics.

The debate has caused City Council to delay a preliminary vote on a police accountability bill for at least two more weeks.

Council has again tabled a bill that would require the publishing of an annual report of police incidents such as frisks, pull-overs, and any use of force.

Police leaders are arguing to Council that since the statistics are already reported, the bill shouldn't become part of the City Code because they're worried it may interfere with the Police Bureau's accreditation process.

Black Political Empowerment Project Chairman Tim Stevens said the accountability measures should be written into city code. He said if the bill isn't passed, the community could do nothing if the next police chief decided not to report the statistics.

But Fraternal Order of Police President Dan O'Hara said if the bill is made law, he thinks it will create an unfair labor playing field duing future contract negotiations, because the union then wouldn't be able to bargin new terms with the administration.

Council will revisit the measure for a possible vote in two weeks.