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Philadelphia (Pa.), Police Advisory Board Records

Collection ID

Acc. 670, 677

Related Subject(s)

Collecting Area(s)


Collection Summary

Police Advisory Board (Philadelphia, Pa.) Records


Collection ID
Acc. 670, 677

Police Advisory Board (Philadelphia, Pa.)

3 linear feet (3 boxes)

Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries

Materials in English


Detailed Collection Information

Historical Note

Created by Mayor Richardson Dilworth in October 1958, the Police Advisory Board (PAB) was charged with investigating citizens' complaints of 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 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 undermined 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.

Description of Collection

The collection is composed of the 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 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. The collection includes correspondence, complaint records, news clippings, police operational material, and reports from other cities interested in creating local police advisory boards.

Organization and Arrangement

The collection is arranged into three series as follows:

Series 1:  Administrative, 1958-1970
Series 2:  Subject files, 1961-1980
Series 3:  Complaints, 1964-1969

Series 1:  Administrative, 1958-1970, consists of annual reports, correspondence, minutes from various committees, and disciplinary actions.

Series 2:  Subject Files, 1961-1980, consists of materials about the Philadelphia Police Advisory Board and boards in other cities; organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union that worked with the PAB; miscellaneous articles and other records about police work, the role of police advisory boards, and urban conflict; editorials; police brutality; resolutions, and legal suits.

Series 3:  Complaints, 1964-1969, contains records of 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.

Patron Information

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Temple University’s online library catalog: http://diamond.temple.edu/record=b1617237~S30

Research Access

Collection is open for research with restrictions for personally identifiable information (PII).  Researchers may need to sign a non-disclosure of PII form. 

Collections Stored Off-Site

This collection may be housed off-site at the Library Depository, and require up to two business days to retrieve. Please review the finding aid and be prepared to identify specific materials to be retrieved. Contact the Special Collections Research Center in advance of your visit, so that materials may be relocated to the reading room for research. .

Publication and Copyright Information

The Police Advisory Board (Philadelphia, Pa.) Records are the physical property of the Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries. Intellectual property rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. Researchers are responsible for determining the identity of rights holders and obtaining their permission for publication and for other purposes where stated.

Preferred Citation

[Description and date of item], [Box/folder number], Philadelphia (Pa.), Police Advisory Board (Philadelphia, Pa.) Records, Acc. 670, 677, Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

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

Processing Information

Finding aid revised according to contemporary archival standards in May 2016.          


Index Terms

The following headings have been used to index the description of this collection in Temple University’s electronic catalog:

Personal/Family Names:
Barol, Martin S.
Tate, Mercer D.

Corporate Names:
Philadelphia (Pa.). Commission on Human Relations
Philadelphia (Pa.). Police Department

Police -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia
Philadelphia (Pa.) -- Politics and government

Philadelphia (Pa.)

Material Types
Administrative records
Case files


Series 1:  Administrative, 1958-1970

Series 1 consists of annual reports, correspondence, minutes from various committees, and disciplinary actions.

1          Annual Reports          1960
1          Annual Reports          1961
1          Annual Reports          1962
1          Annual Reports          1963
1          Annual Reports          1964
1          Annual Reports          1965
1          Annual Reports          1966
1          Annual Reports          1967
1          Correspondence, Chairman          1961
1          Correspondence, Chairman          January-April 1962
1          Correspondence, Chairman          February-June 1963
1          Correspondence, Chairman          July-December 1963
1          Correspondence, Chairman          1964
1          Correspondence, Chairman          1965
1          Correspondence, Chairman          1966
1          Correspondence, Chairman          1967
1          Correspondence, Chairman          1968
1          Correspondence, Chairman          1969
1          Correspondence, Chairman          1970

1          Correspondence, Director          1960-March 1963
1          Correspondence, Director          April 1963 - 1968

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

Series 2:  Subject Files, 1961-1980

Series 2 consists of materials about the Philadelphia Police Advisory Board and boards in other cities; organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union that worked with the PAB; miscellaneous articles and other records about police work, the role of police advisory boards, and urban conflict; editorials; police brutality; resolutions, and legal suits.

1          American Civil Liberties Union          1964-1968

1          Barol, Martin S., "The Police Advisory Board, A Philadelphia First in Intergroup Relations"          Undated
1          Fraternal Order of Police "A Survey of 1963 Salaries and Working Conditions of the Police Departments in the United States"          1963
1          "Police Review Boards, Articles - Opinions - Statistics, Opposing the Formation of Police Review Boards"          Undated
1          "Police Review Boards, Their History, How They Are Created, A Board in Action"          Undated
1          Georges, Thomas W. Jr., "Police Dilemma... Reform and Civilian Respect"          Undated
1          Gewirtz, Arthur, Summary of "The Long Hot Summer of 1966 in Philadelphia"          1966
1          Hartford Institute of Criminal and Social Justice, "Civilian Review of The Police Experiences of American Cities"          1980
1          Harvard Law Review, "Regulation of Demonstrations"          Undated
1          Hetherington, John, "The Philadelphia Police Advisory Board, A Political Memoir"          1980
2          Hudson, James R., Police - Citizen Encounters That Lead to Citizen Complaints          Undated
2          LaSalle College, Urban Studies and Community Services Center, "Community Forum"          1969 - 1970
2          Law in Transition, v.11, no. 3          Summer 1965
2          Levin, Robert A., "Gang Busting in Chicago"          1968
2          New York Mattachine Newsletter          October 1966
2          The Newleader          1966
2          Osborn, Michelle, "A Conference on Police Power in a Free Society"          Undated
2          Point of View          March, April 1970
2          Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, "Si Ud Es Arrestado"          Undated
2          The Police Chief: The Professional Voice of Law Enforcement          August 1966
2          Tate, Mercer D., American University Law Review, "The Police Advisory Board Institutionalized," Draft          Undated
2          United States Commission on Civil Rights, "Justice"          1961, 1963
2          California, Police Review Boards          Undated
2          Citizens for a Police Advisory Board, Minutes          1969-1970
2          Council of Organizations of Philadelphia Police Accountability and Responsibility          1970
2          District of Columbia, Police Review Board          Undated
2          Fellowship Commission          Undated
2          Committee on Community Tensions          1965-1969
2          Miscellaneous          Undated
2          File Case, Hearing Room of the Examiner          1966
2          Independent Citizens Committee          1965
2          Information on Other Communities          1963-1966
2          KYW-TV Editorial          1968
2          Major Issues in the Pre-Arraignment Code          1966
2          Mayor's Committee on a New Police Commissioner          1966
2          Miscellaneous          Undated
2          National Capital Area Civil Liberties Union, Walter Jenkins Case          1964
2          National Institute on Police and Community Relations          1964-1966
2          Newspaper Clippings          1959-1969
2          New York City, Proposal for an Independent Civilian Complaint Review Board          1965
2          New York City Review Board Conference          1965
2          New York City Review Board Conference          1966
2          Pennsylvania State Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights          June 1972
2          Pennsylvania State Conference NAACP, 35th Annual Convention          October, 24-26, 1969
2          Pennsylvania State Office Building          1965
2          Philadelphia Baptist Association          1962-1966
2          Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations          Undated
2          Administration of Oath of Office          1967
2          Annual Report          1965
2          Philadelphia Police Headquarters          1962
2          Philadelphians for Equal Justice          1968-1969
2          Police Brutality          1976-1978
3          Police - Community Problems          1970
3          Press Releases          1965-1969
3          Proposed Office of Ombudsman          Undated
3          New Jersey          Undated
3          New York          Undated
3          Pennsylvania          Undated
3          Public Relations          1967
3          Resolutions          Undated
3          Chestnut Hill Community Association          Undated
3          Religious Organization          1966
3          Rizzo, Frank, articles about          1967-1970
3          Rochester, New York, Police Advisory Board
3          St. Louis Branch, NAACP          1966
3          Suits
3          Alexander et. al vs. Rizzo et. al, Police Abuse Suit          1970
3          Goode, Gerald vs. City of Philadelphia          1969
3          Harrington, et al. vs. Tate et al.          1965-1969
3          Miscellaneous          Undated
3          Termination          1969
3          WCAU-TV Editorial (An Independent Advisory Board)          1966
3          United States Civil Rights Commission Hearings          1971

Series 3:  Complaints, 1964-1969

Series 3 contains records of 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.

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