Mayor-elect Jim Kenney announced that he has selected the man that will succeed Charles Ramsey as Philadelphia’s police commissioner.
Deputy Commissioner Richard Ross will take the helm of the 6,000-member department in January, when Kenney takes office.
Speculation about who would lead the department under Kenney began well before Ramsey announced his retirement last month. His last day on the job ends with Mayor Michael Nutter’s second term.
Ross said his term will build on Ramsey’s, which was widely viewed as a success.
“This is about passing the baton,” Ross said. “It’s not about re-inventing the wheel, it’s about making the city a better place.”
The appointment is not unexpected. Ross was widely considered to be Kenney’s pick for the top cop job. Kenney has said he made his choice over the summer, but the future mayor declined to confirm his pick until after the election.
Ross emphasized inclusiveness and diversity as major goals, words that Kenney has used to describe what he hopes will be the tone of his administration.
“You have to have everyone at the table. That’s important. You have to be inclusive and it’s not just rhetoric,” Ross said. “I believe that.”
The department’s policy on pedestrian stops, sometimes referred to as stop and frisk, won’t change much. Police brass will send clear signals on what will and won’t be tolerated, and there will be an emphasis on training, Ross said.
“The only thing that will be different is messaging and training,” Ross said.
The use of body cameras is likely to expand, Ross said.
Ross has served as the department’s director of operations since 2008. In that job, he oversaw the Patrol Bureau, Special Investigations, Homeland Security and Domestic Preparedness, and State and Federal Task Force.
In previous posts, he’s overseen the department’s gun control strategies, lead the Homicide Division and served as captain of the 14th District.
Ross is a graduate of Central High School and Penn State, He’s also done stints at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and the FBI’s National Academy.