Accountability of concents Decree has been absent.Edit

Many in the city point to the consent decree as a costly venture without any accountability. Lots of money was spent. But, how the money was spent is unknown.

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  • A plank asking for accountability with the consent decree is within the Police-plank of Mark Rauterkus

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Mr. McNeilly said in his last interview as chief that 90 percent of the changes called for in the consetn decree mirrored his own plans. But the decree required so many changes in such a short period that the inevitable backlash by some officers was directed at the new chief who had to implement them. (source P-G in January 2006)

Mr. McNeilly said the end result of the consent decree was a better focused, better trained, better equipped police department, one that has gained a national reputation for using the "best practices" in law enforcement.

Vic Walczak, the Pennsylvania legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union who filed the federal lawsuit alleging misconduct, said the police bureau's culture has been greatly improved "by the consent decree and by having a police chief committed to implementing those requirements. We give McNeilly a lot of credit. He wasn't perfect but nobody's perfect.

"He brought the department into compliance with the consent decree faster than anyone thought possible. One of the things we have learned in doing a lot of institutional reform cases, in trying to change how an entire agency operates, is that no matter how good the court order is, if the director is not committed to making changes, it's not going to happen."

Mr. Wexler said Mr. McNeilly's decision to vigorously enforce the consent decree was a difficult but necessary one that the former chief's long tenure helped to achieve.

Elizabeth C. Pittinger, executive director of the Citizens Police Review Board, agreed. "The consent decree certainly did lead to a number of improved or additional policies and procedures that give the officers guidelines and standards they will be held to. It certainly was a very positive thing."


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