Philadelphia Top Cop Calls For Expanded Police Presence In City Schools

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia police commissioner Charles Ramsey says the time has come for a stepped-up police role in city schools, and he says a plan is being drawn up to expand the presence of officers there.

At a City Council budget hearing today, Commissioner Ramsey (in file photo above) told councilmembers that some officers are already assigned to schools but, in his view, broader attention by police may now be needed throughout the Philadelphia School District.

“Many of our schools run just fine and don’t need this kind of intervention,” he told the panel, “but there are some schools that are right now being run by gang members and others who would do harm to other children, assault staff, and so forth.  And that is simply unacceptable, period.”

Ramsey said his department is now drawing up a plan for a broader deployment of officers in schools, and he’ll seek input from school staff, parents, and school advocates.

“This isn’t something that can be done in isolation,” he said. “We have to work the schools, with the parents, with other stakeholders to make this a reality. But we’ve got to come up with something, in my opinion, beyond what we’re currently doing. Because what we’re currently doing is not working.”

He gave no timetable, nor did he specify the number of officers he has in mind.

“It’s not going to get better on its own,” the commissioner said. “We have to reëstablish control and create a safer environment. At some future point in time we can talk about withdrawing them, but right now I think in many of our schools it has reached a point where this move would be necessary.”

Reported by KYW Newsradio City Hall Bureau Chief Mike Dunn

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  • David

    I graduated in 1968. There were no cops in the school or anywhere on the campus. We had rules we had to obey, or else. If we got into trouble in school, we were in deeper trouble when we got home. The answer isn’t more cops in the schools, it’s more discipline. Make those kids responsible for their actions, and make the punishment really undesirable, and make it stick. If the parents don’t want to get involved, kick the kid out of school, and make the parents prove that the kid has adult supervision all day.

  • Joe Stanczak

    They should close the schools in this city. The only thing a kid needs to learn is how to say ROCK DOPE ROCK DOPE, that’s where the future of this city is heading. I believe the city offers seminars, free training, a list of available corners and police protection. Even in areas like Kensington, Harrowgate and Juniata, where they are at full capacity, they will find a way to squeeze you in, because the demand is so great.

    • Natasha Andjelkovic

      I disagree. I am a parent who can attest to excellent education our children are receiving in our local public school. We are not going anywhere, and neither is our outstanding school and all the educators who work tirelessly for those children and the future of Philadelphia, and in consequence the future of Pennsylvania. Unfortunately due to the people who think like you, thousands of schoolchildren in this city will be left without even the most essential resources, such as a registered nurse in school every day. Let’s not even talk about art, music, foreign language, or enrichment of any kind. And your solution is “Close city schools”. Exactly what should then happen to all the children in this city? You should be ashamed of your ignorant, abject opinions.

  • armand

    There are a few schools that should just be turned into prisons.

  • Stephanie Palmer

    I am a retired school teacher, and I think the parents should be required to come to the school once a month to see exactly how their children behave. We shouldn’t have to pay for professional police to come in to monitor children’s behavior.

  • kteacher

    I completely disagree. I think having police presence in schools would be a very welcome addition.

  • onevoice

    Typical backwards solution – more violence against children, who became violent because they are taught violence. Police do not belong in the schools. Only the brainless police think they do.

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