In what he said was the toughest decision of his life, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey has decided to forgo a chance to be Chicago’s top cop and stay in Philadelphia. He has been police commissioner since January 2008.
Ramsey, a Chicago native, said it was “a strong, strong lure to go back to where you were born, to your roots, so it took a lot of time to sort all those emotions out.”
During remarks bracketed by applause, Ramsey said there were many reasons for him to stay, including the bond he developed with the families of the officers killed who were killed during his tenure.
“We went through some tough times, in this department, and you just can’t set that aside,” he said late Wednesday afternoon with Mayor Michael Nutter at his side. “As tragic as it was, it drew us all together.”
Another reason to stay, Ramsey said, was Nutter’s goal to make Philadelphia a better city.
“When I have my morning meetings, and I look around the table and I see the deputies that I have and the other key people in the department, I just recognize just how good these people are and potential this department has,” said Ramsey. “It’s just an honor to be a part of it.”
Nutter said he has given Ramsey a $60,000 pay raise, increasing his salary to $255,000, to stay. Ramsey did not ask for the increase, the mayor said.
“I offered as a part of our conversation, as a part of the discussion, an opportunity to enhance his salary,” Nutter said.
Nutter, who said the new salary is “clearly commensurate with other big cities in America,” said Ramsey will also be taking on school district security as part of some new responsibilities.
The mayor sweetened the deal with a baseball autographed to Ramsey by all five Phillies starting pitchers. It was supposed to be part of the incentive to stay. It ended up being a thank-you gift for doing just that.