CHICAGO —Recently retired Philadelphia police commissioner Charles Ramsey will return to his hometown to guide civil rights reforms in the department in which he started his career: a Chicago Police Department in need of restored trust among the communities it protects and serves.
Mayor Emanuel announced that Ramsey will provide counsel on policies, training and accountability today before attending a 3rd district roll call held at 63rd and University. Ramsey's Chicago roots, the mayor says, are an advantage.
"It's unique. It's something we want to draw on, and I believe Chuck Ramsey will help the City of Chicago immensely," Emanuel said.
Ramsey served as chief of police in Washington after 30 years on the force in Chicago, a tenure that included commanding the narcotics division and serving as deputy superintendent. As the Justice Department now investigates the CPD, Ramsey has twice requested federal probes.
"He's been with two agencies that have been through this, as well as being from Chicago, so I think that's a good thing," said Eddie Johnson, CPD chief of patrol.
In Philadelphia, Ramsey increased the number of officers on the beat and moved cops from streets to sidewalks.
"Ramsey was creative, innovative, he listened," said former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. "He established a relationship with the citizens of Philadelphia that they had not seen in recent times and it was because of his honesty, because he was open and transparent, he called things as he saw them. If there was something wrong, he said it was wrong. If an officer violated rules and regulations he would fire them."
"I don't think there's anybody who could do more to change the culture of the police department in Chicago than Charles Ramsey," said Rep. Danny Davis.
Congressman Davis says he's the right man for the job, and in a statement, Ramsey told Chicagoans that "progress won't happen overnight, but a sustained and continued effort will put Chicago on a path forward.
Congressman Davis says the pick was a step forward for the mayor too.