Ramsey hired to help Wilmington Police Department
In the ongoing effort to address violent crime in Wilmington, Del., Mayor Dennis Williams announced on Monday that former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey will work with Wilmington Police as a consultant.
Ramsey, who served Philly’s police commissioner for seven years, will consult Wilmington Police command staff on public safety analysis and strategy development as a part of Commissioner Bobby Cummings’ plan to fight violent crime.
“I look forward to working with Mayor Williams, Chief Cummings and the Wilmington Police Department to enhance the public safety efforts within the City of Wilmington,” said Ramsey in a statement. “The Wilmington Police Department is headed in the right direction, and I believe with further implementation of the 21st century policing recommendations we can have an impact in improving police community relations and reducing violent crime.”
Ramsey was tapped in 2014 to serve as co-chair for President Barack Obama’s “Task Force on 21st Century Policing,” which focused on community policing and building the public’s trust with law officers. Obama thanked Ramsey for his help on the task for and congratulated him when he announced his retirement last year.
“Commissioner Ramsey has been recognized as one of our nation’s leading public safety officials, and is regarded as being at the forefront of modern day policing,” said Williams. “As the Wilmington Police Department continues to attack violent crime, I am honored to partner with the Commissioner in this effort, as he will provide invaluable expertise and knowledge in this area.”
Wilmington’s fight against high violent crime was thrust into the national spotlight two years ago when Newsweek published an article giving Wilmington an unfortunate nickname, “Murder Town USA.” More recently, ABC announced its plan in November to set a new drama series called “Murder Town” in Wilmington.
City leaders have condemned the moniker and show, saying it casts an unsavory and unfair light on the city. In a story published last month, Cummings told the Philadelphia Daily News he believes Wilmington’s size is the reason it gets “a stronger look.”
The newest numbers provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) say there were 1,174 cases of violent crime in Wilmington in 2014 per 100,000 people. This is down from the numbers in 2013 (1,625 per 100,000) which was cited in the Newsweek piece. Wilmington was also ranked high on lists of the most dangerous cities in the U.S.
A focus on increased neighborhood patrolling and the strengthening of the city’s new homicide unit were some of the initiatives launched by lawmakers in recent years to reduce the prevalence of fatal shootings in the city. City leaders credit these efforts in improving the city’s ability to address homicide cases in the city. In 2015, Wilmington police had a homicide case clearing rate of 50 percent, compared to 12 to 16 in previous years.
According to statistics kept by The News Journal, 2015 saw 26 homicides, the closest the city has gotten to the 2010 record of 29.
“As Commissioner Ramsey has led major metropolitan police departments in cities such as Chicago, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia, I look forward to gaining his insight and perspective on implementing crime reduction strategies with the Wilmington Police Department,” said Cummings.