Protesters demand reforms in Philadelphia's contract with police

By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Protesters at City Hall Friday demanded changes to the city's contract with the Fraternal Order of Police — but it's not that easy.

About 50 people gathered at the Octavius Catto statue for a rally sponsored by several advocacy groups. They objected to a number of provisions in the police union contract.  

Rev. Gregory Holstein of the group POWER said one sore point is the concession won during the Nutter administration that allows officers to live outside the city limits.

"Police living in the city gives a greater opportunity for them to build the kind of relationships with the city that need to happen," he said.

City officials are sympathetic. A spokesperson said the Kenney administration agrees there is room for improvement. However, contracts with police and fire officials are not negotiated in the same way as other municipal union contracts. They go through arbitration, giving the city little control over the final outcome. 

Holstein said the protest was aimed at everyone involved in the process.

"Those who are arbitrators themselves, to make sure that they are more reflective of the needs and concerns of the citizens of Philadelphia," he added. 

The current contract expires in June. The city said it's still in the process of formulating its proposals.