NBCPhiladelphia.com - Rosemary Connors, Brad Berner
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey put to rest much speculation that he would head back to his hometown of Chicago. Ramsey announced Wednesday that would be staying in the City of Brotherly Love.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey isn’t going anywhere.
Ramsey and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter announced Wednesday that the city’s top cop, who has been recently wooed by Chicago’s mayor-elect, is staying in the city of Brotherly Love.
Saying it was the hardest decision he has ever had to make, the third-generation Chicagoan said that he did not apply for the "dream job" because he has an equal opportunity in Philadelphia and has much more to accomplish here.
“As a result of [conversations with Nutter] and the experiences I have had in Philadelphia over the past three years, I have elected to stay right here in Philadelphia,” Ramsey said.
Ramsey said that he did not want to delay his decision any longer, as it would be unfair to keep Nutter and Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel hanging.
“It’s just the right thing to do,” Ramsey said. “I wish Chicago the very best, I’m sure they will find a great superintendent. I wish Mayor Emanuel the best. There was no decision I’ve made that was any harder than the one I made now. I think that was a tremendous opportunity, but it’s here in Philadelphia as well.”
Nutter said in a press conference Wednesday that he's offered Ramsey a new salary of $255,000, up from $195,000.
Emanuel announced three weeks ago that he was considering Ramsey for the Chicago police commissioner job, in addition to Chicago’s current Deputy Police Supt. Harvey Radney.
Emanuel said in a statement Wednesday that he "continues to conduct a thorough process to identify the candidate best suited to lead the Police Department -- a candidate who shares his philosophy that the beat officer is the backbone of the force."
He made no mention of Ramsey's decision.
Ramsey had his start in the police force in Chicago, where he began as a cadet and served on the Chicago Police force for 27 years.
The 63-year-old police commissioner took the top cop position in Philadelphia in 2008, after working for 10 years as the police chief of Washington, D.C.
“We’ve done a lot but we’ve got an awful lot more to do,” Ramsey said. "This is still not the city that any of us would envision it to be 10 years from now, five years from now. It can be a lot better, a lot safer. And I want to be a part of that.”
As Philadelphia Police commissioner, Ramsey leads the fourth largest police department in the nation.
"The best news today in Philadelphia turns out to be non-news: Charles Ramsey is still police commissioner," U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, Pa.-D, said in a statement Wednesday.