Police Commissioner Ross resigned abruptly today amid allegations of sexual harassment and racial discrimination within the police department.
Ross, himself, has not been accused of any sexual harassment or discrimination.
Ross began his career with the Philadelphia Police Department in 1989. In 2016, Ross was appointed Police Commissioner by Mayor Jim Kenney.
Christine M. Coulter, Deputy Commissioner for the Philadelphia Police Department, has been appointed by Mayor Kenney as the Acting-Commissioner until a replacement for Ross is found.
Just last week, Ross helped to peacefully resolve a tense 7-hour standoff with a suspect when six officers were shot serving a warrant in North Philadelphia.
Read Mayor Kenney’s full statement below:
Mayor Jim Kenney today accepted the resignation of Police Commissioner Richard Ross, Jr.
Mayor Kenney said, “Today, Commissioner Ross tendered his resignation. I am disappointed, because he’s been a terrific asset to the Police Department and the City as a whole.
“New allegations of sexual harassment as well as gender and racial discrimination among the rank and file have recently been brought to my attention. While those allegations do not accuse Commissioner Ross of harassment, I do ultimately believe his resignation is in the best interest of the Department.
“Last summer, the City implemented a new sexual harassment prevention policy and a series of internal reforms designed to prevent workplace discrimination and harassment throughout the government. 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. I will be enlisting the help of an independent firm to investigate the recent allegations and to make recommendations to overcome some of the discrimination and harassment within the Department.
“I am grateful for Commissioner Ross’ many years of dedicated service to our City, and the many reforms he brought to the Department. However, I believe new leadership will help us continue to reform the Department and show that racial, ethnic, and gender discrimination simply will not be tolerated.”
Ross started with the Philadelphia Police Department in 1989 and was appointed Police Commissioner in January 2016. He served in a number of roles, working in Patrol, Special Operations, Detective Bureau, Homicide, and Internal Affairs.
Mayor Kenney has named Christine M. Coulter, Deputy Commissioner for the Philadelphia Police Department as Acting-Commissioner while a search is underway for Ross’ replacement.