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A difficult year for Ramsey

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009



The past year has been marked by tragedy and controversy for the Philadelphia Police Department, and for Commissioner Charles Ramsey. Ramsey has stood strong with his officers following the killings of members of the department, but has taken action that drew the ire of the police union, like cutting overtime and firing officers for using racial epithets. His crime tactics have also been both praised and criticized.

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Northern Liberties Neighbors Association President Matt Ruben says in his area people are worried about quality of life crimes. He says since Ramsey started, police seem to be more often taking fingerprints and making arrests in car break-in cases, and patrolling neighborhoods on foot.

Ruben: They can stop and talk to someone like a shop owner and find out what’s going on. They can also stop someone who they might think might be intending to do something illegal. So they get a much more nuanced sense of what’s going on and I think that really helps both preventing crime, dealing with crime, and just the community perception of the role the police are playing.

However, neighborhood activist Wayne Jacobs, a lifelong resident of North Philadelphia, says crime has continued unchanged in his neighborhood since Ramsey took office.


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