Use of civilians for certain roles within PPD to expand

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — More Philadelphia police officers will soon be able to patrol the streets. A historic arbitration award between the Fraternal Order of Police and the City of Philadelphia allowing the expansion of the use of civilians in some roles within the Philadelphia Police Department was announced on Tuesday.

What does that mean? The City will be able to use civilians for certain positions that previously had to be done by a sworn-in police officer.

The city says this is a “critical step in the Kenney Administration’s focus on reducing violence and aligns with Commissioner Danielle Outlaw’s commitment to organizational excellence and a police department operating at peak performance to support public safety operations.”

“By transitioning select roles from an officer to a civilian, not only does the City realize a cost-savings benefit, but it also allows officers to be reassigned to roles within the Department where their skills, experience, and law enforcement powers can be more effectively utilized,” said Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw. “In addition to these benefits, this more efficient use of our staffing provides a boost to employee health and wellness by decreasing the likelihood of burnout, while simultaneously increasing opportunities for employee development. Plainly put, civilianization puts more ‘boots-on-the- ground’, which is exactly what this department needs in order to better serve our communities.”

Within the police department, the city can staff some positions with city employees from inside or outside the FOP bargaining unit. The city will not transfer existing FOP bargaining unit employees out of these roles in order to replace them with employees outside the FOP bargaining unit.

But, if an FOP bargaining unit employee leaves the role, they may be replaced with an employee outside the FOP bargaining unit at the city’s discretion.

The positions within the police department that can be staffed with civilians include the following:

    • body worn camera technician duties may be assigned without limitation to employees outside the FOP bargaining unit; this may result in the reassignment of officers who currently perform these duties to additional patrol or other duties within their districts.

    • Mail delivery duties may be assigned without limitation to employees outside the FOP bargaining unit; this may result in the reassignment of officers who currently perform these duties to additional patrol or other duties within their districts.

    • Sworn officers in the graphics and audio-visual units.

    • Crime scene unit investigator.

    • Firearms examine.

    • Document and digital evidence examiners.

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