Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey’s changes in his department, previewed in Crime & Justice News yesterday, were characterized by the Philadelphia Inquirer as a “major shake-up  of the department’s command – doubling the number of deputy commissioners to eight – that he said would improve accountability and drive down the crime rate.” Less than four months into the job, Ramsey reconfigured the 6,600-member department into two main operating groups that will be headed by current deputy commissioners. The bifurcated structure is similar to the way he configured the Washington, D.C., police force, where he was chief for nine years before stepping down a year ago.
Deputy Commissioner Richard Ross was promoted to oversee field operations. Deputy Commissioner John Gaittens will be in charge of organizational support services such as training, communications, administration, and human services. The four new deputies were promoted internally, much to the relief of the Fraternal Order of Police, which opposed a ballot measure voters approved on April 22 allowing the police commissioner to appoint up to 10 deputies. The FOP was concerned that Ramsey would hire many out-of-town commanders. Ramsey said the reorganization would get more officers on patrol, increasing visibility to send a message to the public as well as to criminals. “The public wants to see more cops out there on the street,” he said. In the new organization, he said, “everything exists to support the patrol function.”