Philadelphia police commissioner resigning, mayor says
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross speaks with members of the media at the scene of a shooting in the Ogontz section of Philadelphia, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
(Philadelphia) — The police commissioner of Philadelphia is resigning over new allegations of sexual harassment and racial and gender discrimination against others in the department, the mayor announced Tuesday.
Commissioner Richard Ross has been a terrific asset to the police department and the city, Mayor Jim Kenney said in a news release, and he’s disappointed to lose him. But in light of the new allegations, Ross’ “resignation is in the best interest of the department.”
Details on the allegations against others in the department weren’t made available, and Ross didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment.
The city last summer implemented a new sexual harassment prevention policy and changes designed to prevent discrimination and harassment, Kenney said in his statement.
“While rolling out a new policy understandably takes time, I do not believe the Police Department has taken the necessary actions to address the underlying cultural issues that too often negatively impact women — especially women of color,” Kenney said.
He will ask an independent firm to investigate the recent allegations, he said.
Just last week, after a gunman was taken into custody following a long standoff with police , Kenney called Ross the best police commissioner in America.
Kenney has named Deputy Commissioner Christine Coulter as acting commissioner during the search for Ross’ replacement.