When former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey joined us at our most recent Ideas We Should Steal Festival for a live taping of The Citizen’s How to Really Run a City podcast, the crowd expected Ramsey to address just how, under the leadership of then-Mayor Michael Nutter, he oversaw a record low crime rate.
Ramsey, after all, has more than 50 years of law enforcement knowledge and service. He co-chaired President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. He’s currently the Principal Deputy Monitor for the Federal Consent Decrees in Baltimore and Cleveland, a law enforcement analyst for CNN, and a Distinguished Policy Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law.
What the crowd didn’t expect? To kick off the conversation with throwback photos of Nutter and his sweet high school Afro and former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed with his dope college high-top fade. Then again, regular listeners of the podcast know that the three co-hosts — Reed, Nutter, and Citizen co-founder Larry Platt — always sandwich some pretty meaty policy lessons in between plenty of hijinx and hilarity.
Once the laughter died down, it was off to the tough questions: How much of a police chief’s job is about reversing public opinion? What’s the secret to making citizens feel safe in all corners of their city? And what’s the most important trait any Mayor should look for when hiring a police chief? (Hint: It’s not shooting accuracy.) Also: What’s a Blackberry and how did Mayor Nutter dodge the Jheri curl trend?
Over the course of the rollicking episode, the hosts addressed these questions and more. And because you asked for it, Commissioner Ramsey agreed to join the podcast again in a few weeks, to answer the many questions we didn’t have time for the first go around.
So, buckle in for Part 1 here, then stay tuned for Part 2 of How to Really Run a City with Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey. We’re excited to bring you both episodes of this meaningful conversation, because if we really want cities to thrive, first we have to make them safe. And if anyone can unlock the secrets for doing so, it’s Ramsey.
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