Richard Ross marks one year as Philadelphia police commissioner

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Philadelphia police commissioner Richard Ross is marking his first year as the city's top cop. (WPVI)

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross is marking his first year as the city's top cop.

Ross sat down with Action News to reflect on the past year.

"Realizing, despite your best efforts, you're going to come up short for some people," Ross told Action News.

He was retired commissioner Charles Ramsey's top deputy, running the major operations hour by hour, minute by minute, each day.

So there are few surprises now. Stability is the operative word.

What are the crime stats after Year 1?

The murder rate is the same as the year before.

The number of police-involved shootings is the same as the year before.

Overall violent crime, meaning rape, robbery and aggravated assault, is down 5% from the year before.

"Behind every statistic is a person who's been victimized," Ross said.

Police corruption was a necessary preoccupation for his predecessor who was determined to clean up the department. Ross says ever-vigilance is the price of keeping it clean.

"We're not dealing with any major scandals right now," Ross said.

During this era of cops caught on camera in violent confrontations where they are at fault, it is a tough time for recruiting.

After Year 1, the commissioner finds himself more than 250 short on desired staffing levels.

To broaden the pool of applicants, he has scuttled the requirement that applicants have a minimum of 60 college credits.

As for police brutality, Ross says you can't be dismissive about the issue.

"Because some people may have file complaints that aren't legitimate; there are some that are," Ross said.

I mentioned to a captain who commands one of the city's busiest districts that we were up on the anniversary of Ross's first year as commissioner.

The captain said, "Ross is perfect. Because he has the passion, dedication, and love for this city. We'll succeed despite all these challenges, every day, every hour."

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philly newsphiladelphia policeCenter City Philadelphia
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