Friday, December 31, 2010

Charles Ramsey on Philly's police corruption

A nice year-end police interview with Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey in today's Daily News. He says all the right things about battling corruption in the department, and I've no reason to disbelieve him. But the glimpses I've had of Philly police culture -- not just that there's corruption, but that it's routinely abusive of and alienated from the community in ways that don't always technically violate the law -- tell me he's battling something entrenched. And it's worth noting that the police union re-elected John McNesby as its president in 2010 -- a man whose main public accomplishment is to defend cops against charges of abuse, regardless of what the evidence says, and with few public words about the need for integrity on the force. (He's also very public, to be fair, when it comes to offering rewards to entice the public to help police solve crimes.) I suspect that he's closer to the heart of the Philly PD, and that doesn't give me much optimism about a renaissance in the ranks.

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