HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Philadelphia delegation in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives is thanking former Police Commissioner Richard Ross “for his nearly 30 years of service to the city in law enforcement,” following his “abrupt resignation on Tuesday.”
“It has been an esteemed honor to stand beside Commissioner Ross in our efforts to improve the lives of all Philadelphians, especially to combat the increasing gun violence in the city,”
said St. Rep. Jason Dawkins (D-179), delegation chairman, in a statement.
Rep. Dawkins continued,
“However, we are disheartened to hear of the new accusations against the police force. As members of the House of Representatives, we take any charge of sexual harassment, gender or racial discrimination very seriously.
“We trust that new leadership within the Philadelphia Police Department, presently under Acting Commissioner Christine M. Coulter, will continue to work to overcome any issues of discrimination or harassment existing within the department.”
Both Coulter, Ross, nine other members of the police force, and the city are all named in a federal lawsuit, filed by a female colonial and female officer, claiming sexual harassment, and gender and racial discrimination.
Continuing Coverage: Philadelphia Police Department
- Details of the harassment, discrimination suit that led Police Comm. Ross to resign Aug. 21, 2019 (late evening)
- Police Comm. Richard Ross quits amid harassment, discrimination allegations against officers Aug. 21, 2019 (just after midnight)
- Police shooting suspect facing charges over Wednesday standoff, drugs Aug. 17, 2019
- See the 6 police officers shot in the line of duty Aug. 16, 2019
- Suspect surrenders after 6 officers shot, 3 more injured; ‘Miracle’ police all out of hospitals Aug. 14, 2019
- The war on guns, from Philadelphia to the feds Aug. 9, 2019
Coulter’s was moved up from the second line, which she shared with Myron Patterson, First Deputy Commissioner, Field Operations. Also, Coulter’s title was changed from Deputy Commissioner of Organizational Services to Acting Police Commissioner.
Below is how Ross’ page looked, followed by his biography.
Commissioner Richard Ross Jr. leads the fourth largest police department in the nation with more than 6500 sworn and 800 civilian members. He brings nearly 30 years of service, experience and expertise to Philadelphia’s top law enforcement post. Prior to his appointment to Commissioner, he served as First Deputy Commissioner. In both positions he led the department’s commitment to reform and accountability. He has also championed community policing, community partnerships and the use of technology and data to support smart, effective and respectful policing. Commissioner Ross believes in the power of partnerships and good police work as a means to help people feel and be safer.
His experience is vast, having worked and commanded various units, ranging from Patrol, Special Operations and the Detective Bureau to Homicide and Internal Affairs. As First Deputy Commissioner of Field Operations, his command included Patrol Operations, Homeland Security & Domestic Preparedness, Special Operations, Detective Bureau, Labor Relations, Community Relations, Criminal Intelligence, Command Inspections Bureau, and the Mayor’s Security Detail.
Commissioner Ross is a born and bred Philadelphian. The Central High alumnus is known across the city for his commitment to public safety and compassion for people. He has earned respect in the department and in Philadelphia’s communities. He believes in community policing and the power it has to effect change in this country. He also believes in the importance of mentoring. Commissioner Ross mentors a number of young people, meets regularly with “Millennials,” and he is the national spokesperson for the Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Bigs in Blue program. Bigs in Blue pairs police officers (“Bigs”) with elementary school students (“Littles”) to develop ongoing mentoring relationships. BBBS of America touts the Philadelphia Bigs in Blue program as a national model for police departments in cities across the country.
Commissioner Ross is the recipient of numerous awards and citations, including the Gary P. Hayes Award for Excellent in Policing and the Dawn’s Place Champion Award for his work to abolish human trafficking.
He has an undergraduate degree in Labor & Industrial Relations from Penn State University, and a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Saint Joseph’s University. He is a graduate of the Northwestern School of Police Staff and Command, the F.B.I. National Academy, the National Executive Institute, and the Police Executive Leadership Institute. Commissioner Ross also has earned a leadership certificate from the Harvard Kennedy School.