‘Commish Chat' Podcast Hopes to Brighten Philadelphia Community-Police Relations

The Philadelphia Police Department's new podcast gives the community the department protects “an inside look at the issues, challenges, and successes of policing.”

Hosted by Denise James, strategic communications director for the Philly PD, the podcast sets out to increase police-community relations, build trust and invite public questions and comments.

“It’s just one additional way to get info out into the community from police, and to glean info from the community,” said James.

On Monday, the Police Department posted the second episode in the series to its Facebook page. The episode, which is also available on Soundcloud, touched base with Commissioner Charles Ramsey in regards to the riots in Baltimore and some of the underlying issues with police-community relations.

In the podcast, Ramsey explained that the level of unrest in Baltimore was due to “a tremendous lack of trust, not only for police, but government in general.”

“No one in police custody should be injured,” added Ramsey. “They should be safe. Period.”
The commissioner continued by discussing the idea that protesters can be both beneficial and harmful for a society.

“[We have to] Allow people to peacefully protest because they have the right to do it constitutionally, and quite frankly, the way in our country that change occurs is through protest,” Ramsey said.

Ramsey stressed the importance of dealing with both types of protesters, and mentioned that people will fill in the blanks when accurate information isn’t provided.

James told NBC10 that they were hoping to put together about one episode per month, pertaining from a mixture of scheduled topics and current events.

In an effort to change the culture of trust between police and the communities they protect, the Philly PD is setting out to perform more hands-on training, using real cases, minus associated names. This allows for better preparation, and hopefully a higher probability of sound judgment in the field.

“There are changes that needed to happen long ago in policing,” Ramsey admitted. “It took something like this unfortunately to make it happen.”

According to James, they have already received more than 10 email responses to the podcasts from viewers, and would love to set up a live chat in the future.

Want your question answered on the podcast? Send your thoughts to commishchat@gmail.com, and your question could be answered on a future podcast.

Contact Us