Letter to the editor: Allegheny County police review board just politics
The proposed Allegheny County Police Review Board (“County council votes down Allegheny police review board, supporters vow to keep pushing,” Aug. 27, TribLIVE) is appropriate for the Allegheny County Police Department. County Executive Rich Fitzgerald supports this legislation, which is nothing more than a politically expedient gesture in the wake of the unfortunate death of Antwon Rose II.
The Uniformed Division of the Allegheny County Police Department is primarily responsible for patrol of the airports, county parks and county facilities and buildings. Complaints of the officers’ activities are non-existent.
That leaves the county’s other 106 municipalities with police departments to determine whether their departments shall be under the oversight of politics and Fitzgerald.
While East Pittsburgh may not have had updated policies in effect, the jury determined that Officer Michael Rosfeld was justified in using deadly force in the Rose case. Likewise, most of the 106 police departments have policies in effect and are under the purview of checks and balances such as local civil service commissions. We have federal civil rights laws, and state law is clear on the use of “deadly force.”
The Allegheny County legislation is a knee-jerk reaction to a situation that will not be solved by more political appointed bureaucratic layers of oversight. When people are intent upon murder and mayhem, sometimes bad things happen. This way of life will not be affected by more oversight on police officers trying to do a thankless job. Let’s not shift the blame onto the brave police officers who protect us. The blame and solution lies in the homes of our residents.