PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia’s new acting police commissioner is settling into her first full week on the job. Commissioner Christine Coulter is sharing with Eyewitness News her priorities as she takes the reins of the nation’s sixth-largest police department.
She said her family first learned about her appointment to lead the Philadelphia Police Department from the press.
“Actually my mother called me and said, ‘Is this true?’ It’s the way some things play out,” Coulter said.
The 57-year-old Coulter is the first woman to lead the 6,500-member force.
Coulter was born in Kensington and is a product of Frankford High School and St. Joseph’s University. She described the last week as busy and hectic.
Coulter told Eyewitness News she would like the police commissioner job permanently.
“Yes, I would, but ultimately it’s up to the mayor, but I have enjoyed my 30-plus years,” she said. “It’s been a great opportunity.”
A spokesperson for the mayor confirmed to Eyewitness News she is being considered for the role. The office declined to elaborate on specifics about the search process.
Coulter has been described by her one-time fellow commanders as hard-working, a good cop and extremely intelligent.
Her appointment comes after Commissioner Richard Ross suddenly resigned last week in the wake of a sexual harassment lawsuit — one that does not directly implicate the former police official in misconduct.
Rank and file officers described a shock wave of panic in the force, but said their job doesn’t allow them to miss a beat. That’s something Coulter responded to with gratitude.
“There really isn’t that time for them to take a timeout and we will regroup tomorrow — tomorrow’s the next minute,” Coulter said. “I think we have a lot of people who take this profession seriously and I’m grateful for that.”