The Philadelphia Police Department is moving forward with Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey's pledge to review the city policies, training and investigations surrounding police-involved shootings, which spiked last year despite an overall drop in violent crime.
Ramsey, along with First Deputy Commissioner Richard Ross and Deputy Commissioner Nola Joyce, met with the federal agency Ramsey asked to conduct the independent review.
The officials discussed the collaborative investigational effort at the U.S. Department of Justice's Community Oriented Policing Services in Washington, D.C. with Associate Attorney General Tony West, COPS Acting Director Joshua Ederheimer and other staff members.
“I want to thank the Department of Justice for this assistance and the department looks forward to working with the COPS Office in addressing this critical issue,” Ramsey said in a statement.
Ross will be spearheading the department's involvement in the review.
A release called the first meeting "just the first step in a process that will last approximately 18 months," and said the effort is similar to one COPS undertook with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
"As we move forward with an independent review of the Philadelphia Police Department’s recent incidents involving police shootings, I want to thank the U.S. Department of Justice for its support in this endeavor," Mayor Michael Nutter said in a statement.
"Strong community policing, continuous improvement and high professional standards are the hallmark of the Philadelphia Police Department under the leadership of Commissioner Charles Ramsey. We want a fair assessment of what we are doing and how we can improve our training, procedures and practices in ways that enhance the safety of the general public and our police officers."
The next meeting, during which details of the review will be discussed, has been scheduled for July 10 in Washington, D.C.
A team from the COPS Office will then in late July visit Philadelphia for a series of meetings.