Philadelphia Police Department Gets Critical Crash Investigation Tool From Police Foundation

May 5, 2020

The Philadelphia Police Department now has a Crash Data Retrieval System (CDR) which enables access to critical information about crashes that investigators could only get with State Police help until now. The $30,000 CDR system is a state-of-the-art gift from the Philadelphia Police Foundation. The equipment gives the Department’s Accident Investigation District (AID) access to critical information when investigating fatal crashes and those that result in serious injury.

The CDR enables access to a vehicle’s Airbag Control Module and Event Data Recorder, which store data the way a black box stores information about airplanes and trains. Investigators can retrieve, download and print information about a car’s speed, braking pressure, steering angle, evasive maneuvers, seat belt usage and other critical data.

“The Philadelphia Police Foundation is proud to fund this new CDR System that will now give AID the capability to have more efficiency and greater responsiveness when investigating a serious vehicle crashes on the streets of Philadelphia,” said Maureen S. Rush, President of the Philadelphia Police Foundation and Vice President for Public Safety and Superintendent of Police at the University of Pennsylvania.
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw appreciates the Philadelphia Police Foundation’s support, saying, “The Foundation’s contributions to the department are invaluable. During the last year, the Foundation has funded more than $500,000 of equipment and training that the city budget could not cover. Recently, during the pandemic the Foundation spent $140,000 for 50-thousand N-95 masks to distribute to members of the department. And now, the Crash Data Retrieval system supports a level of professionalism we are committed to when serving our communities. The Philadelphia Police Foundation is indeed a positive Force Behind the Shield.”

Until now, AID investigators relied on State Police to put us on their schedule and bring their CDR to retrieve data in serious Philadelphia crashes. Accident Investigation District (AID) Commander, Captain Mark Overwise, has long dreamt of AID having its own CDR, saying, “Having the equipment on hand speeds up the process of finding concrete answers to critical questions for the courts and for families.” Overwise adds, “We are extremely grateful to the Police Foundation for this generous donation. We are excited because this tool will be a valuable asset in our investigative arsenal. Using the CDR to access the truth about a crash is like striking gold.”

The PPF funding covered the purchase of the CDR system and operational training for AID officers.
About the Philadelphia Police Foundation ( The Philadelphia Police Foundation (PPF) was founded in 1999 as a nonprofit resource to help fund the critically important, unbudgeted needs of the Philadelphia Police Department. The Foundation remains true to its mission and has been responsible for raising more than $2 million for the police department. Last year, the PPF provided the Philadelphia Police Department with critical equipment, advanced training, community programs, and new technology at a cost of over $500,000. These purchases were made possible by generous donors and supporters from events like the annual Night for Blue and the Run for Blue.

Letter from the Philadelphia Police Foundation