Leader of Philly Police oversight board resigns

The executive director of the city’s Police Advisory Commission, a civilian oversight board, has resigned, saying he will focus instead on consulting and private-sector work.

Kelvyn Anderson, in an interview Thursday, said a recent executive order from Mayor Kenney regarding the commission provided the right opportunity for a new leader to step in. The order, issued last month, broadened the commission’s duties to review both individual incidents of misconduct and also policies that may have contributed to those incidents.

Anderson, whose resignation was first reported by WHYY, said he had no reservations about Kenney’s order affecting the work of the commission. The timing simply provided a window for a changing of the guard, he said.

“I’m really impressed with how well the administration listened to us, in terms of making it clear that the commission has a role to play,” he said. “I think the order makes it clear that we still do have the power to look at the forest and the trees.”

Anderson had served as executive director since 2013. He was a top watchdog for the department as it made significant changes to its use of force policies and began a pilot program for body camera use, among other initiatives.

The commission was created by then-Mayor Ed Rendell in 1994 to provide civilian oversight of police misconduct. While it can subpoena and interview police about allegations of impropriety, it does not have the power to discipline officers, and Anderson  had complained in the past about the agency's being underfunded.

 Still, he said Thursday that he was hopeful that the commission was in a better place than when he started. And he does believe it will continue to have an impact.

Mike Dunn, a spokesman for Kenney, said the city hoped to select a permanent replacement for Anderson by the summer. An interim director has not yet been chosen, Dunn said.

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