Cherelle Parker Expected to Name Kevin Bethel Police Commissioner

Plus: Our charter schools stink, we're stuck in traffic all the time, and we might have to go to Sheetz this week. But, hey, the Eagles won.

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Kevin Bethel to Be Named Police Commissioner

Mayor-elect Cherelle Parker has picked the city’s next top cop. Kevin J. Bethel is expected to be named the city’s new police commissioner in a press conference tomorrow, according to the Inky. He’s been the School District of Philadelphia’s chief of school safety for the past four years and was the deputy police commissioner under Charles Ramsey from 2008 to 2016.

So, what do we know about Bethel? He’s all about the intersection of youth and crime. He’s the founder and executive director of the Law Enforcement Juvenile Justice Institute, a Philly-based non-profit that trains “law enforcement on evidence-based, trauma-informed, and community-based solutions to protect and serve our nation’s youth.” He was a senior advisor at the Stoneleigh Foundation, which aims “to improve the life outcomes of our community’s youth by advancing change in the systems that serve them.” In 2008 he won the Philadelphia Daily News Fencl Award, which honors outstanding police for their service and dedication to the communities they serve.

And in 2015, he shared a story of removing a basketball court from the 17th District. Apparently people came to him, tears in their eyes, saying they couldn’t sleep because of the sounds of basketballs being played all night long. “We snuck in there one night and we were able to get that court out of there.” (Wouldn’t it have been smarter to do that during the day?) Anyway, those all-night basketball players were dealing drugs, he says.

Bethel is a resident of North Wales, where reggae artist John Oates grew up.

Go Birds

Joe Biden did the ol’ “pardon the turkeys” bit yesterday, sparing the lives of 42.5-pound Liberty and 42.1 pound Bell. (So named because he’s from Delaware which is near Philly which is where the Liberty Bell is.) During his brief remarks, the president bungled some kinda weird joke about Beyonce/Britney/Taylor Swift that our top people are still trying to transcribe.

By the Numbers

$2 million: That’s the approximate budget set aside to make Jeweler’s Row a “more welcoming, pedestrian friendly corridor” according to the Center City District. The plan calls for planters, banners, lights and a big sign. Two mill to fix up one city block? Guess we went to Jared for those planters.

114 hours: That’s how many hours the average Philly driver “lost” to traffic congestion last year, making us the 4th worst city in the country — at least according to another one of these weird lists that arrives out of nowhere every once in a while to, what, humiliate us? We feel nothing. And look, here’s PennDOT saying there’s nothing we can really do about it anyway. Great job all around.

47th: That’s where Pennsylvania’s charter schools rank according to this new thing called the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Great, another list. I say we gather the top students from all of the city’s charter schools and put them in charge of fixing our traffic problem. You got this, kids.

$1.99: I’ve never seen a Sheetz and I don’t want to, but apparently they’re selling their Unleaded 88 gasoline for just under two bucks a gallon all week. Can somebody lend me some barrels? I have a plan.

7:30 p.m.: That’s what time the Flyers play tomorrow. Set your DVR, Sandy.

September 2005: That’s my best guess for when this guy on Instagram forced his family to see Hairspray the Musical on a visit to Philadelphia (although it was playing at the Merriam, not the Convention Center).

And from the We-Are-God Sports Desk …

Taylor Swift broke fans’ hearts last night. She was supposed to introduce her mom and dad to beau Travis Kelce at the Eagles-Chiefs Monday Night Football rematch of the Super Bowl, but that plan got scotched when the weather ruffled her South American tour dates. Oh well. At least we still had the game! And look who smushed Patrick Mahomes on the second play of the cold and rainy night.

Unfortunately, the Chiefs returned the favor on our first possession despite lots of Jalen Hurts scrambling. And they regrouped on the subsequent drive, getting their running game going — until another sack, by Milton Williams. Mahomes got back up again to score first, on a pass to a wide-open Justin Watson. When it was our turn, the Iggles drove all the way in with D’Andre Swift scoring, and a doinked EP tied the score. A L’Jarius Sneed interception at the start of the second hurt, though. A.J. Brown wrestled the ball away, but the Chiefs kept it on review — until a felicitous interception got us the ball back.

But we had to kick it away, and Travis — who else? — scored another TD. The Birds had 1:45 to answer, and thanks to a sack on Hurts, didn’t — and left 52 seconds on the clock for the Chiefs. Damn. They landed a field goal, thanks to a bunch of Eagles penalties: 17-7 at the break. The O-line was a shambles; Hurts had been sacked five times.

We went nowhere on the second half’s opening drive. What a freaking mess. We just looked totally out of sync. But KC had to kick it away, too. Then we did. And they did! Finally, on our next possession, a 35-yard Swift run took us to the 15, and Hurts ran it in his own damn self for the score: 17-14. But a pass interference call on Darius Slay (who was not having a good game) prolonged the ensuing KC drive through the end of the third — right up until Travis Kelce fumbled, forced by Bradley Roby, and we recovered at the 10. The defense promptly stifled everything the O tried, and we kicked it away again.

We got it back, we got a first down (miracle!), we got a Hurts toss to DeVonta Smith to the one, and it was time for the Brotherly Shove. OMG, we were winning, 21-17! A lucky call for a false start on the Chiefs’ center and a toe-tackle of Mahomes by Reddick led to a KC punt; Hurts ran for a first down, a holding call on Jordan Mailata, a third-and-23 … and a punt. Three minutes left. A great stop on the return by Josh Jobe, and the Chiefs were starting at the nine. Holy shit, Travis blew a catch to bring up fourth-and-two. But he got the first down, and Fletcher Cox was called for roughing the passer. Two minutes. A long dropped pass, an intentional-grounding call on Mahomes, and “fourth down and forever.” The Eagles take over!

Do the Sixers Play Tonight?

Indeed they do. They host the Cleveland Cavaliers at 7:30 in the All-Ugly-Court Tourney, and you’re gonna need shades.

Any College Hoops News?

You bet. St. Joe’s took on number 16 Kentucky in Lexington and kept it close; it was 41-38 Wildcats at the half. In the second half, the Hawks were within two with just over a minute left, took the lead on a three by Cameron Brown with 35 seconds to go, then went down one on a Kentucky jam. Chris Essandoko went to the line on a Wildcat foul and tied it up … overtime! But the ’Cats got the three-pointer working, there was a last-second steal, and Kentucky pulled it out, 96-88. Great game, though. Tonight, the La Salle Explorers head to ninth-ranked Duke to take on the Blue Devils. Rep the City 6, y’all!

Any other sports news?

Yup. The U.S. men’s national team played Trinidad and Tobago at in a CONCACAF Nations League, and Sergino Dest picked up a red card 38 minutes in and was sent off. We were ahead at that point, 1-0, on a goal by Antonee Robinson in the 25th. But just minutes after the red, Trinidad and Tobago scored, and it was tied 1-1. That’s where it stayed at the half. Trinidad scored again in the second half — 90 minutes is a long time to play a man down — and we lost the game, 2-1, but go through to the final on an aggregate score of 4-2. The next game is in … March? March. Oh, they also qualified for the Copa América tourney next summer.