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Thursday, November 12, 2015
Meet Richard Ross, Philly's Next Top Cop
David Gambacorta and Dana DiFilippo at the Philadelphia Daily News offers a piece on the new Philadelphia Police Commissioner. Come January, the entire city - and a police force of 6,500 men and women - will be watching Ross' every move, analyzing every quote, trying to determine what kind of leader he will be.
Ross knows he is inheriting the top job at a pivotal and difficult moment in the history of law enforcement. Police departments across the country are grappling with an unprecedented identity crisis in the face of growing calls to reform their policies and procedures, and to commit to never-before-seen levels of transparency.
But Ross brings something to the table that might make him uniquely qualified to navigate these choppy waters: a willingness to listen.
But what does that actually mean, as Ross prepares to take over for retiring Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, whose popularity with Philly residents and the law-enforcement community casts an impossibly long shadow?
According to Ross, it means he will be reaching out to rowhouse dwellers and rank-and-file cops alike, at town-hall meetings and in small gatherings, to find out what they need from him.
"In my view, if a police commander thinks he knows what every community wants, it's a tragic error," he said.
"You don't know what people need unless you listen to them. And that holds true for police officers, too. You need to have a dialogue with the men and women you ask to do this job. If you don't include them in the process, you're really headed for trouble."
Ross' journey to the top of the fourth-largest police department in America began in the Fern Rock section of North Philadelphia, where his parents, Richard and Virginia Ross, raised a house full of kids.
You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:
Paul Davis is a writer who covers crime. He has written extensively about organized crime, street crime, sex crime, cyber crime, drug crime, white collar crime, crime fiction, crime prevention, espionage and terrorism. His 'On Crime' column appears weekly in the Washington Times. He is also a regular contributor to Counterterrorism magazine. His work has also appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and other newspapers, magazines and online publications. As a writer, he has attended police academy training, gone out on patrol with police officers, accompanied detectives as they worked cases, accompanied narcotics officers on drug raids, observed criminal court proceedings and visited jails and prisons. He has covered street riots, mob wars and murder investigations. Paul Davis' online "Crime Beat" column offers his Q&As with cops, crooks, crime writers and others. Paul Davis has been a student of crime since he was a 12-year-old aspiring writer growing up in South Philadelphia. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy when he was 17 in 1970 and served on the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk during the Vietnam War. He also served two years on the Navy harbor tugboat USS Saugus at the U.S. nuclear submarine base at Holy Loch, Scotland. Following his Navy service, he performed security work as a Defense Department civilian and he later became a full-time writer. Paul Davis' On Crime and Crime Beat columns, crime fiction and magazine and newspaper pieces can be read on this website. His full bio can be read by clicking on the above photo.