Civic League, Williams Want Police Commissioner Gone

Group representing black police officers say Charles Ramsey hasn't done enough to increase diversity.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. AP | Matt Rourke

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. AP | Matt Rourke

If the Guardian Civic League — a group representing Philadelphia’s black police officers — has its way, the next mayor will put a brand-new police commissioner in the department’s top job.

If he becomes mayor, Anthony Williams will be happy to oblige.

“I’m not gonna say I’ll fire someone. But we differ, and I don’t compromise,” said Williams, citing Commissioner Charles Ramsey’s implementation of “stop-and-frisk” policy during his tenure here.

NewsWorks reports on objections raised by the league — led by Rochelle Bilal — to Ramsey:

What has especially vexed the league’s Bilal are the police eligibility requirements, which Ramsey stiffened by requiring two years of college, passing a polygraph test and a valid state driver’s license.

“I’m getting calls down at the office. And they say, ‘I don’t have the 60 credits. But I’m physically fit. I can read and write. I can run and jump,'” she said. “But because of the 60-credits situation, they can’t come on this job.”

In response, Ramsey, who is African-American, has said that he takes offense to the notion that dropping standards is necessary to enroll more minorities into the police academy.

Williams received the league’s endorsement at its Wednesday night forum.