Ramsey Defends Papal Security
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey this week defended the level of security that was in place for Pope Francis’ visit to the city last month.
“It was only 14 years ago that terrorist flew planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and into the ground at Shanksville, Pennsylvania,” he said. “Our world changed that day. Our security environment changed that day. It’s not going to go back in the forseeable future, if ever.”
He made the comments during an edition of “Commish Chat,” his podcast. The podcast was posted Tuesday morning to the police department’s Facebook page.
Many residents and visitors derided the security lockdown as overkill, but Ramsey such efforts should be expected whenever the city hosts big events — like the Democratic National Convention next summer. “We’re going to have our hands full” with that event, he said.
Much of the 18-minute podcast was given to Ramsey’s own reflections on the papal visit. “I am a Catholic, so it had special meaning for me.”
And he said he received a number of compliments about police interaction with the public that weekend. “It does make you think about your role, how people view you, how you respond to and react to things,” he said.
But anybody hoping for a ratcheting-down of security for the DNC next year will probably be disappointed, Ramsey suggested.
“I think we have to adapt and understand that when you have big events like this,” he said, “it’s just an unfortunate reality that extraordinary security steps take place, and you adjust accordingly.”
Follow @JoelMMathis on Twitter.