The Philadelphia Inquirer editorializes that it was a smart move by Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey to announce plans to enlarge the police Internal Affairs bureau by 25 percent in the same week he launched a charm offensive with police-community meetings around the city. Ramsey needs to work in-house and in the community to drive home his message of zero tolerance about police misconduct, says the newspaper.
Eleven officers have been arrested on charges including murder, rape, and drug dealing since early 2009. They’re among a squad-size contingent of some 51 officers fired since Mayor Michael Nutter hired Ramsey. Ramsey plans to beef up the internal affairs unit by mid-October, with the addition of 26 officers. The commissioner’s directive to upgrade ethics training and his proposal to raise the bar for recruits should produce a smarter police force less likely to dishonor the badge. The Inquirer says Ramsey has a problem on the street – where people encounter officers known to use heavy-handed tactics that raise cries of police brutality.