Police to Record All Interrogations Citywide

Policy change made possible by private grants.

Say, while we’re on the topic of police behaving badly, let’s laud the Philadelphia Police Department for implementing a long-overdue measure. Officers will soon install recording equipment in all the interrogation rooms in detective divisions across the city.

The Daily News reports:

The Philadelphia Police Department is slated to receive an $84,780 grant tomorrow from the nonprofit Philadelphia Police Foundation that will cover the cost of installing recording equipment in interrogation rooms in detective divisions across the city.

The grant is expected to be presented to Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey by Maureen Rush, president of the nonprofit’s board and superintendent of the University of Pennsylvania’s police force.

The grant consists of donations from Macy’s, Tyco Integrated Security and other businesses, according to the foundation.

If there’s a downside to this, is that it’s all funded from private donations. Which, great, but suggests that a core mission of the police department —collecting evidence with the most precision and care possible — is an “extra,” something we get to if somebody will donate it, but otherwise left behind. That’s not the way it should be.