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Philadelphia City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart. Photo: Harrison Brink/AL DÍA News.
City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart's Office is calling for community members to be a part of a community council to help review Philly PD spending. Photo: Harrison Brink/AL DÍA News.

Philly City Controller wants community help in reviewing the police department

Rebecca Rhynhart’s office is in the process of looking over how the Philly PD is spending its $727 million budget.

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As her office has done before, last time regarding the Philadelphia Police Department’s response to the uprisings surrounding George Floyd’s murder by police in Minneapolis, City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart is once again asking for the public’s help.

This time, her office has put out a call for community members to be on another committee that will help it review the entire $727 million budget of the Philadelphia Police Department.

The review, requested of the City Controller’s Office last year by Philadelphia City Council, will not only look at the deployment of funds for resources and operations, but also compare Philly PD with police departments across the country when it comes to implementing the best policing practices.

Also at the heart of Rhynhart’s review of police budget spending is Philadelphia’s ongoing battle to lower gun violence across the city. In 2021, the city ended the year with a record number of homicides at 562. This year, while homicides are down 10% compared to last year, is also still higher than 2020’s tally at this time of year. 

“We can have justice and reform at the same time as safety. This deep dive into the police budget with recommendations for actionable change will help lead the way,” she said in a press release calling for community members to join the community council.

To join the community council, prospective members can apply or nominate a prospective member through a new form on the City Controller’s website.

In addition to basic identification and contact information, the form also asks about individual involvement in community organizations and previous interactions with the police department among other questions about one’s capacity to work with others and general reasons for wanting to join the council.

Those wishing to join or nominate someone to join have until Wednesday, Feb. 16 to submit applications. The hope from the City Controller’s Office is to gather a swath of residents from all corners of the city to conduct the review.

“It is critical that we include the perspectives of residents in this process, which is why the community council is so important. I’m calling on residents, activists, and business owners across the city to please join the community council for this project, as we reimagine public safety together,” said Rhynhart in a release.

The final report on the police department’s spending is expected to be released to the public in the Summer of 2022.

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