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Former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Kevin Tucker Dead at 71

(credit:  Kevin Tucker  File photo)

(credit: Kevin Tucker File photo)

Al Novack Al Novack
Since 1990, Al Novack has been KYW Newsradio 1060’s morning drive...
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By Al Novack and Lynne Adkins

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Kevin Tucker, who took over the Philadelphia Police Department in the wake of the controversial 1985 “Move” bombing in West Philadelphia, has died.

His family says Tucker died of a brain tumor this morning at a hospice in New Jersey.

Eleven “Move” members, including five children, were killed and 61 row houses were destroyed in a fire after police, directed by commissioner Gregore Sambor, dropped a bomb on the group’s house.

Tucker, brought into the department by Mayor Wilson Goode in January 1986 to replace Sambor, is credited with fixing many of the problems that plagued the Philadelphia Police Department in the ’70s and ’80s, and streamlining its operations.

Tucker served as head of the police department until resigning in 1988, when Mayor Ed Rendell brought in former New York City police commissioner John Timoney.

Tucker, who came from the ranks of the US Secret Service, where he was head of the Philadelphia office, was credited with bringing efficiency to the department and eliminating corruption in the ranks.

Prior to his arrival, more than 30 ranking officers had been convicted between 1982 and 1986 of corruption and extorting money from brothels and illegal gambling operations.

A viewing for Tucker will take place Thursday, 2-4pm and 6-9pm, at the Bradley Funeral Home on Route 73 in Marlton, NJ.  A funeral mass will take place Friday at 10:30am at St. Mary of the Lakes Church, on Jackson Road in Medford.

Burial will be private.

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