Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, right, and his likely replacement, First Deputy Commissioner Richard Ross Jr., salute the family of slain Philadelphia Police Officer Robert Wilson III on Friday, March 13, 2015, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
How do you replace someone like Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey? The man is far and away the most popular public official in Philadelphia, an exceptionally gifted communicator, a native Chicagoan who somehow intrinsically got and loved Philly and, oh yeah, arguably the best big city police chief in the nation.
Of the 1,000,002 decisions Mayor Michael Nutter has made these past eight years, hiring Ramsey may have been the single best one.
But when Nutter steps down, we now know Ramsey will as well.
The writing has been on the wall for a while now, really. Publicly, Democratic mayoral nominee Jim Kenney — who, barring a meteor strike on his house, will win the November election — has said that the job is Ramsey’s as long as he wants it. Remember, way back in the mayoral primary, when Anthony Williams set his already-flailing campaign on fire by attacking Ramsey and proclaiming he’d sack him? Kenney’s campaign was simultaneously releasing artfully worded statements that said a Mayor Kenney would “welcome” Ramsey, but also hinted at the possibility Ramsey might well be moving on: “Jim has always praised Commissioner Ramsey’s leadership and repeatedly stated that if the Commissioner’s national profile didn’t take him elsewhere that Jim would welcome him in his administration”
It turns out the “take him elsewhere” bit was the important part. It seems that Kenney, like Williams, wants his own commissioner. There are plenty of ways to make that clear without publicly insulting Ramsey, and Kenney has made it clear enough. Read more »