By Kristina Dougherty and Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) —  Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey will retire effective January 7, he announced at a news conference Wednesday.

Ramsey said January 7th also marks his anniversary date.

“I was sworn in the same day as Mayor Nutter. I want to thank Mayor Nutter. I came out of retirement to come to Philadelphia to work for him and I’m honored to be able to leave with him as well.”

He added, “It’s been a long time. I’m in my 47th year of policing, which is…quite a bit. Thirty years in Chicago, nine as chief in D.C. and now eight here in Philadelphia, it’s been a good ride and I’ve been blessed.”

Commissioner Ramsey has packed a lot into those eight years, not only overseeing a reduction in crime here but leading national, presidential and international policing efforts and organizations. Still, he says, “I’m not tired, I’m not burnt out; in fact, I’m in my prime.”

 

Mayor Nutter got emotional as he took time to praise Ramsey. “Thank you for coming to Philadelphia and making my city a safer city.”

“We are fortunate in Philadelphia to have the best police commissioner in the United States.”

When Ramsey was asked who he thought should be the next commissioner, he sang the praises of First Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Ross, saying “he’s the best out there.”

As for retirement plans, Commissioner Ramsey said,”My wife, I’ve been married 30 years, she is an incredibly strong woman. We’ve moved to different cities. She’s put up with irregular hours. The stress that goes along with a job like this, sometimes we don’t think about, but it’s there. She’s dealt with it all and without her I wouldn’t be standing here today. I want to be a better husband… I want to work on that.”

He also said he would like to do a bit of teaching or guest lecturing.

“I plan to stay involved in policing. I’ve been involved since I was 18. I’ve got more to contribute. I’m not ready to kick up my heels and do nothing. It ain’t today, believe me.”

Ramsey says he’s proud of what he’s accomplished but says the job isn’t finished, that the department and city leaders have to keep working on solutions to violent crime.

According to the Philadelphia Police Department, Commissioner Ramsey is nationally and internationally recognized among law enforcement peers for his law enforcement expertise.  He is the immediate past President of the Police Executive Research Forum and the Major Cities Chiefs Association.  He is the only law enforcement professional to have been president of both of these prominent positions simultaneously. He also serves on the International Association of Chiefs of Police Executive Committee.

Futhermore, since coming to Philadelphia, the police department says there has been a 37-percent drop in the homicide rate.

Commissioner Ramsey is a native of Chicago, Illinois and served in the Chicago Police Department for nearly three decades.

 

President Barack Obama released the following statement on Wednesday on the retirement of Commissioner Ramsey:

“I want to offer my heartfelt gratitude to Commissioner Charles “Chuck” Ramsey for his nearly five decades of leadership and service with some of this nation’s largest law enforcement agencies. From Chicago to DC to Philadelphia, Commissioner Ramsey has always supported our women and men in uniform and the communities they bravely serve and protect each and every day. While I’ve known about his outstanding work over the years, it was when I appointed Chuck as a co-chair of my Task Force on 21st Century Policing that I was able to rely on his counsel and leadership. For several months earlier this year, he played a vital role in bringing together leaders from across the country to create a clear and concise report including key recommendations for building stronger trust between communities and the law enforcement agencies that protect them.  I am extraordinarily grateful for Chuck’s service and wish him an enjoyable and restful retirement.”