Philadelphia (Pa.), Police Advisory Board Records

Collection ID: 
Acc. 670, 677
3 linear feet
Collecting Area: 



Created by Mayor Richardson Dilworth in October 1958, the controversial Police Advisory Board (PAB) was charged with investigating citizens' complaints against the police, where the charge involved brutality, false arrest, discrimination and other wrongful conduct of police. The PAB, made up of civilian investigators, was the first such board in the United States. Its' role was not to discipline police officers under investigation, but to recommend appropriate action to the city's administration.

The PAB was created to deal with police officers who abused their authority. As the PAB proceeded with its work, the hearings brought out the widespread objectionable police practices such as disrupting interracial social gatherings or stopping interracial couples, solely on the base of their race. These abuses, and others, were publicized by the PAB and corrected by the Police Department.

The PAB was challenged on a number of fronts. The Fraternal Order of Police, who represented police officers on trial, objected that a civilian review board was not capable of judging police behavior; that the PAB undermines the authority of the Police Commissioner; and that police review boards, in general, were part of the "communist plot to undermine law enforcement."

Mayor James H. J. Tate terminated the PAB on 22 December 1969 as, quoted by then Police Commissioner Frank Rizzo, a "Christmas present" to the police officers. Some felt that by the late 1960s, the PAB became a political liability to the mayor. In discharging the PAB, Tate stated that "in spite of the sincere emotional support, the Board's activities and procedures have been negative."


The collection is composed of the personal papers of Mercer D. Tate, who served as a member of the PAB beginning in 1961, and as its Chairman in 1965 until the Board's termination in 1969; and the personal papers of Martin S. Barol, who served as the PAB's first paid Executive Director from April 1960 until he was fired by Mayor Tate in March 1963 for political reasons. The collection includes correspondence, complaints, newsclippings, police operational material, and reports from other cities interested in creating local police advisory boards.



This collection has been arranged into three series:
  • Series I. Administrative (1958-1970)
  • Series II. Subject FIles (1961-1980)
  • Series III. Complaints (1964-1969)

Series I. Administrative. The administrative records consist of annual reports, correspondence, minutes from various committees, and disciplinary actions.

Series II. Subject Files. Arranged in one alphabetical sequence, the subject files consist of materials about the in PAB Philadelphia and other cities; organizations, such as the American Civil Liberties Union, that worked with the PAB; miscellaneous articles and manuscript drafts about police work, the role of police advisory boards, and urban conflict; editorials; police brutality; resolutions, and legal suits.

Series III. Complaints. T
he complaints series is arranged alphabetically by complainant. These are cases that were received and acted upon by the PAB. Most complaints include the reason for arrest, alleged abuse, and the findings of the Police Advisory Board.


Case anonymity.


Gift of Mercer D. Tate, Chairman, 4 March 1988 (Acc. 670) and Martin S. Barol, Executive Director, 14 June 1988 (Acc. 677).



SERIES I. Administrative

Box 1

Annual Reports

Correspondence, Chairman
1962, January - April
1963, February - June
1963, July - December

Correspondence, Director
1960 - March 1963
April 1963 - 1968

Creation, Role, Staffing and Concepts of the Police Advisory Board, 1965
Disciplinary Action, 1958 - 1966
Executive Board Meeting, 1965 - 1966
Executive Secretary Report, 1966
Hearings, 1964
Minutes, 1965 - 1967
Rules of Practice, 1959 - 1966
Tate, Mercer, Affidavit, 1970
Tate, Mercer, Application

SERIES II. Subject Files

American Civil Liberties Union, 1964 - 1968

Articles and Pamphlets

Barol, Martin S., "The Police Advisory Board, A Philadelphia First in Intergroup Relations"
Fraternal Order of Police "A Survey of 1963 Salaries and Working Conditions of the Police Departments in the United States"
"Police Review Boards, Articles - Opinions - Statistics, Opposing the Formation of Police Review Boards"
"Police Review Boards, Their History, How They Are Created, A Board in Action"
Georges, Thomas W. Jr., "Police Dilemma... Reform and Civilian Respect"
Gewirtz, Arthur, Summary of "The Long Hot Summer of 1966 in Philadelphia"
Hartford Institute of Criminal and Social Justice, "Civilian Review of The Police Experiences of American Cities," 1980
Harvard Law Review, "Regulation of Demonstrations"
Hetherington, John, "The Philadelphia Police Advisory Board, A Political Memoir," 1980

Box 2

Hudson, James R., Police - Citizen Encounters That Lead to Citizen Complaints
LaSalle College, Urban Studies and Community Services Center, "Community Forum," 1969 - 1970
Law in Transition, v.11, no. 3, Summer, 1965
Levin, Robert A., "Gang Busting in Chicago," 1968
New York Mattachine Newsletter, October, 1966
The Newleader, 1966
Osborn, Michelle, "A Conference on Police Power in a Free Society"
Point of View, March, 1970, April, 1970
Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, "Si Ud Es Arrestado"
The Police Chief: The Professional Voice of Law Enforcement, August, 1966
Tate, Mercer D., American University Law Review, "The Police Advisory Board Institutionalized," Draft
United States Commission on Civil Rights, "Justice", 1961, 1963
California, Police Review Boards
Citizens for a Police Advisory Board, Minutes, 1969 - 1970
Council of Organizations of Philadelphia Police Accountability and Responsibility, 1970
District of Columbia, Police Review Board
Fellowship Commission
Committee on Community Tensions, 1965 - 1969
File Case, Hearing Room of the Examiner, 1966
Independent Citizens Committee, 1965
Information on Other Communities, 1963 - 1966
KYW-TV Editorial, 1968
Major Issues in the Pre-Arraignment Code, 1966
Mayor's Committee on a New Police Commissioner, 1966
National Capital Area Civil Liberties Union, Walter Jenkins Case, 1964
National Institute on Police and Community Relations, 1964 - 1966
Newspaper Clippings, 1959 - 1969
New York City, Proposal for an Independent Civilian Complaint Review Board, 1965
New York City Review Board Conference
Pennsylvania State Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights, June, 1972
Pennsylvania State Conference NAACP, 35th Annual Convention, October, 24, 26, 1969
Pennsylvania State Office Building, 1965
Philadelphia Baptist Association, 1962 - 1966
Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations
Administration of Oath of Office, 1967
Annual Report, 1965
Philadelphia Police Headquarters, 1962
Philadelphians for Equal Justice, 1968 - 1969
Police Brutality, 1976 - 1978

Box 3

Police - Community Problems, 1970
Press Releases, 1965 - 1969
Proposed Office of Ombudsman
New Jersey
New York
Public Relations, 1967
Chestnut Hill Community Association
Religious Organization, 1966
Rizzo, Frank, articles about, 1967 - 1970
Rochester, New York, Police Advisory Board
St. Louis Branch, NAACP, 1966
Alexander et. al vs. Rizzo et. al, Police Abuse Suit, 1970
Goode, Gerald vs. City of Philadelphia, 1969
Harrington, et al vs. Tate et al, 1965 - 1969
Termination, 1969
WCAU-TV Editorial (An Independent Advisory Board), 1966
United States Civil Rights Commission Hearings, 1971

SERIES III. Complaints

Alston, William
Anthony, Paul
Beckham, Louise
Berg, Gary D.
Berger, Alexander
Black, Wilbur
Blaxland, James
Bloch, Jack
Bogish, Veronica
Boykins, Mary & Boykins, John (her son)
Brockenton, Eugene, O.
Brookens, Ricardo
Brookes, Alberta
Burrell, Geraldine
Campbell, George, H.
Carter, David
Chatman, Ceshion
Cochran, Willa Mae-on behalf of her son Bligen, James (also known as Ferbee, James)
Conyers, Janice
Cooper, Harry
Cooper, William
Corenzwit, Frank
Cotton, Henry
Cruz, Pastor
Davis, Lilly : Notice of Hearing
DeVeaux, George
Dukuly, James, M.
Dwight, Issac
Farber, Steven
Gorn, Gladys
Gorn, Julius
Green, Elsie
Howell, Dewitt
Humphries, Ethel
Hyman, Marion
Johnson, Emmanuel
Johnson, Isaiah
Jones, Jacob, Mr. & Mrs.
Kinard, Goldie
Martinez, Mariano
McCrery, William
Monroe, Richard, Rev.
Moore, Thomas, Mr & Mrs.
Page, Robert
Pinckney, Nathaniel
Pulaski, Michael
Ragin, Nathan J.
Richardson, Theodore
Richman, Sylvia
Roberts, Lewis & Edna
Roca, Marie & Melendez, George
Rosenberg, Barry
Rouse, Hamilton
Samuels, Hershell
Scotland, Robert, T.
Seidle, Anita
Senske, Albert, Mr. & Mrs.
Shippert, Allen, L.
Siegert, Joseph, R.
Smith, Florine
Solomon, Eugene & Tucker, James
Swiezak, Joseph
Taylor, Fred
Thomas, Ruth; Johns, Elizabeth & Shaw, Mary
Trammell, Roy
Vogel, Gary L.
Walthour, Edward
Williams, James, L.
Williams, Nathaniel
Wilson, Eugene
Wyatt, James
Zimmer, Layton, Rev.
Complaints Against Philadelphia Policemen
Volume I
Volume II
Complaints Received January to December 1966
Complaint Record Forms