PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Kevin Bethel was sworn in as Philadelphia's next police commissioner on Tuesday afternoon.
The ceremony took place inside the Russell Conwell Middle School in Kensington.
During his speech, Bethel vowed to help schools like Russell Conwell, where students have to "pass through" an "unchecked open-air drug market" to get to class.
"Our streets as well as our schools should be safe havens for our children," he said.
He went on to discuss his strategy, which will focus on three main things: prevention, intervention and enforcement.
Choosing Bethel to lead the police department was Mayor Cherelle Parker's first major personnel decision after being elected.
Bethel, who is a West Philadelphia native, previously served as the Chief of School Safety for The School District of Philadelphia.
He also served in the Philadelphia Police Department for 29 years and served as Deputy Police Commissioner of Patrol Operations for the last eight years before retiring from the force.
Parker was formally inaugurated on Tuesday as the 100th mayor of Philadelphia.
After her ceremony, Parker signed several executive orders including one that will declare a Public Safety Emergency to fight crime in the city. She said her administration will announce specific plans to increase the number of police officers on the streets, with a focus on community policing.