Governor Shapiro Signs Executive Order Creating Pennsylvania Citizen Law Enforcement Advisory and Review Commission
November 03, 2023
Governor Shapiro appoints eleven commissioners from across the Commonwealth to serve on the CLEAR Commission, continuing critical work done by Wolf Administration through PSLECAC.
Commissioners have decades of diverse experience in law enforcement, mental health, community advocacy, and more.
Harrisburg, PA – Yesterday, Governor Josh Shapiro signed Executive Order 2023-21 creating the Pennsylvania Citizen Law Enforcement Advisory and Review (CLEAR) Commission. The CLEAR Commission will bring together law enforcement experts and criminal justice reform advocates from across the Commonwealth to support public safety and ensure accountability for state law enforcement agencies who work hard to serve Pennsylvanians every day.
The Commission is established within the Office of State Inspector General (OSIG), which will assist and provide administrative support. The Commission will perform reviews of completed internal investigations, and ultimately make recommendations based on those reviews, related to allegations or incidents within agencies under the jurisdiction of the Governor. Those recommendations will be made public in an annual report delivered to the Governor and made publicly available on OSIG’s website. This work to annually review the Commonwealth’s policing practices and recommend improvements to Commonwealth agencies is critical to help improve and update law enforcement practices and keep Pennsylvanians safe.
The CLEAR Commission will have oversight of multiple agencies under the jurisdiction of the Governor including the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP), the Department of General Services (DGS) Capitol Police, the Department of Corrections (DOC) Law Enforcement Sub-units, the Department of Conservation & Natural Resources (DCNR) Park Rangers, the Office of State Inspector General (OSIG) Bureau of Fraud Prevention and Prosecution, and the Department of Agriculture (PDA) Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement.
The Shapiro Administration is committed to increasing transparency and accountability within law enforcement. As Attorney General, Governor Shapiro led the way on creating a database to guarantee misconduct records follow law enforcement officers throughout their careers, ensuring those with a pattern of misconduct are not allowed to go from department to department in Pennsylvania without accountability – the most substantial effort in the Commonwealth so far to prevent wandering officers. Governor Shapiro also supported the Pennsylvania State Police pilot program for body-worn cameras, which began earlier this year.
“Every Pennsylvanian deserves to be safe and feel safe in their communities – the CLEAR Commission will help ensure Pennsylvanians can have the utmost faith in the law enforcement officers serving and protecting them every day,” said Governor Josh Shapiro. “Officers who engage in misconduct erode trust in law enforcement and make it harder for our communities to be and feel safe. The CLEAR Commission’s highly qualified members will review cases and make recommendations on continued improvements to the Commonwealth’s policing practices. Policing is a noble profession and I believe good people want to do it, and this executive order will ensure we maintain the highest standards for those who hold positions of public trust.”
The Commissioners selected by Governor Shapiro bring decades of experience in law enforcement, mental health, and community advocacy. This diverse group of highly qualified individuals represent areas from all across the Commonwealth, from Allentown to Johnstown. Commissioners include current and former members of law enforcement, an emergency mental health physician, a county district attorney, a founding member of the Johnstown Police Advisory Board, someone who has been significantly impacted by an encounter with law enforcement, a mental health advocate, and a former member of the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association.
Jaimie Hicks, Executive Secretary for OSIG, will serve as Executive Director of the CLEAR Commission. Hicks has served the Commonwealth for more than two decades, including at the Office of Attorney General in the Bureau of Consumer Protection. She was previously the Secretary to the Pennsylvania State Law Enforcement Citizen Advisory Commission (PSLECAC) from 2021 to 2022.
“The Office of State Inspector General (OSIG) is dedicated to the values of ethics, integrity, and accountability in state government, and we are grateful that Governor Shapiro has established this Commission to elevate these values within Commonwealth law enforcement,” said State Inspector General Lucas M. Miller. “OSIG is excited to collaborate with other law enforcement agencies and the citizen advisors in the important work of maintaining accountability.”
The CLEAR Commission will continue the important work of the Pennsylvania State Law Enforcement Citizen Advisory Commission (PSLECAC) created under the Wolf Administration in 2020. Throughout its more than two-year history, in collaboration with Commonwealth law enforcement agencies, PSLECAC reviewed numerous investigations, produced 17 different reports, made more than 50 recommendations for improvement, and has since seen many of these recommendations on the road to implementation.
“The CLEAR Commission will provide the Pennsylvania State Police an opportunity to continue building public confidence and trust,” said Colonel Christopher Paris, Commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police. “Our Troopers serve the people of this Commonwealth with honor and integrity, and our personnel are committed to the highest standards of professional conduct. I am confident this commission will agree, and I look forward to hearing any recommendations for improvement while giving our department the support it needs.”
The CLEAR Commission will prepare and submit annual reports to Governor Shapiro that will be made publicly accessible online. Quarterly commission meetings will also be open to the public. Prior to reviewing completed internal investigations, Commissioners will complete 40 hours of training on: use of force; stop, search and arrest; traffic enforcement; bias-based policing; internal affairs processes; all covered agencies’ discipline procedures (including the disciplinary provisions of collective bargaining agreements and administrative processes, administrative proceedings, and burdens of proof); covered agencies’ rules and regulations for its law enforcement officers; Governor’s Code of Conduct; and constitutional law.
“The members of the PA Legislative Black Caucus are encouraged by the continuation of the Citizens Advisory Committee,” said Representative Napoleon Nelson. “We are confident that Ms. Caceres and the rest of the board will provide a more than capable voice of the Commonwealth’s citizens in the oversight and elevation of our public safety practices. We celebrate her appointment.”
Read more about the Pennsylvanians appointed by Governor Shapiro to the CLEAR Commission here.
Read Executive Order 2023-21, Pennsylvania Citizen Law Enforcement Advisory and Review (CLEAR) Commission, here.
MEDIA CONTACT: Governor’s Press Office, firstname.lastname@example.org