Philadelphia Narcotics Strike Force Reassigned To Patrols


Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey reassigned the 135-officer Narcotics Strike Force to more general crime-fighting duties, says the Philadelphia Inquirer. The change was called a prelude to a departmental reorganization that he and Mayor Michael Nutter plan to present tomorrow. Calling the department “overspecialized,” Ramsey said his aim was to put more of the department’s 6,600 officers on patrol duty or in more flexible assignments to increase the department’s visibility. “It’s easy to get overspecialized,” Ramsey said. “What is happening over time is that guys get that mentality, ‘I’m working just on narcotics,’ when all this other stuff is going on.”

Ramsey called the department “overdue” for a reorganization to reflect the shrinkage in the force over 15 years. “We only have 6,600 sworn members,” he said. “At one time we had 8,000. We need every single person we can out there, fighting crime, getting bad guys off the street, getting guns off the street.” Ramsey was circumspect about how extensive his reorganization would be, downplaying reports it would be a massive restructuring of top units: “A lot of people thought my crime plan was going to be something, but it’s very fundamental: Back to basics, and more uniformed patrols.”


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