The Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) is the police agency responsible for law enforcement and investigations within the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is the oldest municipal police agency in the United States, and the fourth largest municipal law enforcement agency in the country (behind the NYPD, Chicago Police Department, and LAPD).
Notable events in historyEdit
In 1881, the Philadelphia Police Department hired its first African-American police officer.
In 1887, the police department was put under control of the city's Department of Public Safety. Two years later, the PPD inaugurated its mounted patrol (which was recently disbanded in 2004).
In 1906, the motorcycle was introduced to the Philadelphia police.
In 1939, radio-installed patrol cars were put into use.
In 1967, Frank Rizzo becomes police commissioner of Philadelphia.
In 1979, the PPD reached its peak size at approximately 8,500 officers.
In 1981, Officer Daniel Faulkner was shot while arresting a motorist. Journalist and former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal (né Wesley Cook), was charged with Officer Faulkner's murder (as he allegedly admitted to shooting Faulkner upon arrival in the hospital for treatment for wounds suffered when Officer Faulkner returned fire). The incident, subsequent trial and conviction of Jamal remains a topic of controversy in the United States and around the world.
In 1985, the Philadelphia Police dropped a mixture of civilian and military explosives on a "home-made" wood bunker, built on the roof of the Osage Avenue house occupied by members of the MOVE organization. The bomb ignited several barrels of gasoline starting a fire which destroyed the entire block and killed eleven people.
In just over a year spanning from October 2007 to November 2008, five Philadelphia Police officers were killed in the line of duty during various crimes. Those lost were Officer Charles Cassidy, Sergeant Stephen Liczbinski, Officer Isabel Nazario, Officer Patrick McDonald who was posthumously promoted to Sergeant, and Sergeant Timothy Simpson.
Present-day Philadelphia Police DepartmentEdit
The current Philadelphia Police Department employs more than 6,600 officers, and patrols an area of 369.4 km² (142.6 mi²) with a population of almost 1.5 million. The department is subdivided into twenty-three patrol districts, and like many other large municipal police forces, it incorporates many special units such as a K-9 squad, SWAT, community relations unit, and harbor patrol. The highest-ranking officer, the Commissioner, is Charles H. Ramsey, a former Chicago police officer and former Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia.
Special aspects of the Philadelphia Police Department Edit
The Philadelphia Police Department has several unique features which distinguish it from other municipal police agencies. One of these features is the department's Hero Scholarship Thrill Show, which is a 45-year-old program designed to provide funds for the college education of the children of PPD and Philadelphia Fire Department officers slain or disabled in the line of duty. Funds are raised through ticket sales for the Thrill Show, which features police and fire department demonstrations, exhibits, and games.
Another unique aspect of the Philadelphia Police is its use of a Strategic Intervention Tactical Enforcement (S.I.T.E) special unit. The Philadelphia SITE Unit serves one role within the department:to serve as a specialized anti-crime task force in high-crime areas of the city. The PPD's SITE unit serves as an elite group who work directly for the current Police Commissioner within the department, and has only a many other counterparts in other cities that do the same, most notably Boston's Special Operations Unit. The S.I.T.E. unit was disbanded to much the dismay of many politicians in February 2008. The new police Commissioner stated he would bring it back in the end of the summer if there was no serious reduction in crime.
Mounted Unit Edit
The beginnings of the Mounted Unit can be traced to the Fairmount Park Mounted Guard created in 1867. In 1889 the Philadelphia Police Mounted Patrol Unit was established. The Philadelphia Police unit survived until 1952, however, the Fairmount Park unit would be used for parades and crowd control measures. The Fairmount Park Mounted Guard became the Fairmount Park Police in 1966, but maintained the same responsibilities. In 1972, Mayor Frank Rizzo found it unnecessary for taxpayers to fund two separate police departments, and merged the Fairmount Park Police into the Philadelphia Police, creating the Park Division. The mounted unit was once again used to patrol the streets of Philadelphia. The mounted unit survived to celebrate 100 years in 1989, but was disbanded in 2004 due to budgetary cuts by Mayor John F. Street's administration.
On July 18, 2008, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey confirmed that plans are in the works to recreate the mounted unit.
Ranks within the Department Edit
|Title||Insignia||Uniform Shirt Color||Type of Rank|
|Police Commissioner||Appointed Position by City's Managing Director with Approval of Mayor|
|Deputy Police Commissioner 3-star||<center>White||Appointed Position by City's Managing Director with Approval of Mayor|
|Deputy Police Commissioner 2-Star||<center>White||Civil Service Rank|
|Deputy Police Commissioner 1-Star||<center>White||Civil Service Rank|
|Chief Inspector||<center>White||Civil Service Rank|
|Inspector||<center>White||Civil Service Rank|
|Staff Inspector||<center>White||Civil Service Rank|
|Captain||<center>White||Civil Service Rank|
|Lieutenant||<center>White||Civil Service Rank|
|Sergeant||<center>White||Civil Service Rank|
|Corporal/Detective||<center>Blue||Civil Service Rank|
|Police Officer||<center>Blue||Civil Service Rank|
|Police Officer Recruit||<center>Blue|
The ranks of Corporal and Detective have the same pay grade, but have two entirely different functions. Corporal are "Operations Supervisors" and are responsible for overseeing a Patrol District's Operations Room, or a Special Unit's Operations; i.e.: that reports are submitted accurately and in a timely manner, etc. Only in a few rare instances do Corporals work the street, with the noted exception of S.I.T.E. Unit and SWAT tactical units.
Detectives come under the Detective Bureau, and are assigned primarely to Divisional Detective Units, and specialized units like Homicide, Organized Crime / Intelligence, and Background Investigation. There are also Police Officers who serve in an investigative capacity, such as in the Juvenile Aid and Special Victims Units. They are paid in the same pay scale as a Police Officer assigned to Patrol.
Unlike most law enforcement agencies (but similar to the Los Angeles Police Department), the Philadelphia Police Department Detective Bureau does not maintain the ranks of Detective Sergeant, Detective Lieutenant, etc.
Highest Ranking OfficialsEdit
Police Marshalls Edit
- John J. Keyser, 1850 - 1853
- John K. Murphy, 1853 - 1855
Chiefs of Police Edit
- Samuel G. Ruggles, 1855 - 1867
- St. Clair A. Mulhalland, 1867 - 1872
- Kennard Jones, 1872 - 1879
- Samuel L. Given, 1879 - 1884
- James Stewart, 1884 - 1887
- James Lamon, 1887 - 1892
Superintendents of Police Edit
- Robert Linden, 1892 - 1899
- Harry M. Quick, 1899 - 1904
- John B. Taylor, 1904 - 1912
- James Robinson, 1912 - 1920
- William B. Mills, 1920 - 1931
- Joseph E. Lestrange, 1931 - 1936
- James H. Malone, 1936 - 1937
- Edward Hubbs, 1937 - 1940
- Howard P. Sutton, 1950 - 1952
Police Commissioners Edit
- Thomas J. Gibbons, 1952 - 1960
- Albert N. Brown, 1960-1962
- Howard Leary, 1962 - 1965
- Edward J. Bell, 1966 - 1967
- Frank L. Rizzo, 1967 - 1971 (first Italian American commissioner, later Mayor of Philadelphia)
- Joseph F.O'Neill, 1971 - 1980
- Morton B. Solomon, 1980 - 1984
- Gregore J. Sambor, 1984 - 1985
- Kevin M. Tucker, 1985 - 1988
- Willie L. Williams, 1988 - 1992 (first African American commissioner, later chief of the LAPD)
- Richard Neal, 1992 - 1998
- John Timoney, 1998 - 2002 (currently chief of City of Miami Police Department)
- Sylvester Johnson, 2002 - 2008
- Charles H. Ramsey 2008 - Present
- Male: 70%
- Female: 30%
- White: 55.6%
- African-American/Black: 36.4%
- Hispanic: 6.5%
- Other: 1.5%
Wall of HonorEdit
The City of Philadelphia honors those men and women who have died while serving in the line of duty. The memorial plaque is located in the courtyard of Philadelphia City Hall. It resided on the southeast corner of where Broad and Market Street would meet if they continued through the building.
(NOTE: Prior to 1972, the Fairmount Park Police Department (FPPD) functioned as a separate unit within the City of Philadelphia. Members of the FPPD, who fell in the line of duty are included in the below list with the letters "FPPD" after their name)
Unless otherwise noted, the rank of those below is Police Officer.
|Night Officer William Baker, December 26, 1851||Watchman Neil Mooney, May 25, 1856||Dennis Sullivan, June 14, 1870|
|Lewis Lare, August 21, 1872||Daniel McGonigle, October 9, 1872||Henry O'Donnell, July 4, 1876|
|George McGonigal, February 18, 1877||George Jackson, May 23, 1887||William D. Johnston, October 3, 1887|
|Elmer Findley, December 29, 1891||John Chambers, September 10, 1894||Charles O. Conaway, November 10, 1900|
|Edward George, December 27, 1902||John J. Donovan, September 25, 1903||Matthew J. Curran, May 26, 1905|
|Thomas A. Sheldon, January 6, 1906||Frank Slaymaker, June 6, 1906||Aug. F. Brusius, February 23, 1907|
|Scott H. Shelley, January 5, 1908||Thomas A. Gordon, April 9, 1908||Edward Mooney, December 19, 1908|
|Robert Simons, February 17, 1909||James O'Brien, February 4, 1910||William Weiss, May 8, 1910|
|George Barnett, November 28, 1910||Morris Gelles, December 22, 1910||Joseph Dolphin, February 17, 1912|
|Thomas Dowling, June 26, 1912||David M. Simpson, September 21, 1912||George Freeman, September 24, 1912|
|John Mann, August 4, 1913||Frank A. Sankey, September 18, 1914||Detective James Maneely, March 25, 1915|
|Detective Harry E. Tucker, April 24, 1915||Vincent J. Moore, August 11, 1916||John F. Smith, October 28, 1916|
|Fredrick J. Weingard, July 23, 1917||Detective Frank J. McCartney, August 30, 1917||George Eppley, September 19, 1917|
|Detective George L. Williams, January 9, 1918||Charles T. Dewees, January 12, 1918||Thompson Black, January 18, 1918|
|James Wilson, January 21, 1918||Thomas J. McVay, July 28, 1918||John J. Knox, January 27, 1919|
|George Dingwall, January 27, 1919||Charles Danowitz, March 9, 1919||Walter S. Gideon, March 13, 1919|
|James J. Hess, March 14, 1919||Joseph T. Swiercynski, March 20, 1919||Abner Braun, May 27, 1919|
|Conrad E. Gibson, October 4, 1919||Charles B. Jones, October 5, 1919||John E. Price, April 19, 1920|
|Walter H. Hodges, May 11, 1920||William J. Boyd Jr., May 12, 1920||Dominic E. Nesavage, September 12, 1920|
|Detective Joseph P. McGinn, October 3, 1920||John J. McAntee, October 22, 1920||Edward W. Kunz, October 28, 1920|
|Edward W. Holtry, January 17, 1921||William J. Davis, January 29, 1921||Edward S. Boynton, October 4, 1921|
|Edward W. Kelly, November 16, 1921||Guard Vincent A. Hanley, FPPD, November 26, 1921||Harry J. Stauffer, March 16, 1922|
|Thomas Brady, April 24, 1922||James A. Lambert, July 16, 1922||John J. Toomey, August 26, 1922|
|Bartholomew J. Coen, October 6, 1922||Thomas F. Gallagher, November 3, 1922||William Miles, February 21, 1923|
|Thomas Wilkinson, April 19, 1923||Harry R. Reinhart, March 23, 1924||Detective Truman Swain, July 5, 1924|
|Thomas J. Nihill, September 21, 1924||Robert Wise, November 30, 1924||Harry C. Lomas, March 26, 1925|
|John F. Creevy, June 9, 1925||Albert Steward, October 24, 1925||Frank P. Cook, December 16, 1925|
|Harry Manley Cooper, May 4, 1926||Joseph Edward Bell, December 23, 1926||Charles F. Gay, January 7, 1927|
|William Slook, January 14, 1927||Robert A. McGarvey, February 24, 1927||John J. Watson, April 18, 1927|
|Edward C. Plenskofski, August 8, 1927||Gottlob Klemmer, September 11, 1927||Watchman Steven Heimer, January 8, 1928|
|Charles A. Fry, February 21, 1928||Detective Joseph Etriss, March 25, 1928||Harry Feinberg, March 30, 1928|
|Charles J. Sheer, December 10, 1928||Inspector John W. Blackburn, January 17, 1929||James M. Justice, March 1, 1929|
|Michael Donnelly, April 12, 1929||William T. Page, April 21, 1929||Phillip A. Bruce, November 9, 1929|
|Asst. Superintendent James J. Hearn, November 27, 1930||John C. Keen, February 27, 1931||Elmer E. Patterson, June 6, 1931|
|Captain Harry B. Price, June 20, 1931||Raymond Carey, July 13, 1931||Detective Edward J. Gahan, August 15, 1931|
|Joseph V. Campbell Jr., October 23, 1931||Thomas J. Fitzgerald, November 7, 1931||Albert J. Stokes, February 3, 1932|
|Sergeant Walter Steinbaker, February 21, 1932||William J. Henderson, March 3, 1932||David H. Wiley, April 10, 1932|
|Nolan Eugene Tipton, June 25, 1932||Joseph C. Meiers, July 7, 1932||Isadore Reinheimer, August 2, 1932|
|Detective Michael G. Croskey, December 7, 1932||Fred J. Dolan, January 26, 1933||Detective Louis Moore, June 16, 1933|
|Charles H. Stockberger, July 14, 1933||Harry Donahue, February 19, 1934||Matthew Clowry, March 31, 1934|
|Alphonso Bonavitacola, July 28, 1934||William C. Wilson, September 3, 1934||Paul Hathaway, October 4, 1934|
|Edwin W. Welsh, November 10, 1934||William Bunker Hinchliffe, April 24, 1935||William H. McCloskey, May 5, 1935|
|Thomas J. McErlane, July 4, 1935||James T. Morrow, November 23, 1936||Guard Michael McKenna, FPPD, May 17, 1937|
|Guard Martin Clasby, FPPD, December 31, 1937||Henry Berry, March 30, 1938||Edward Bradley, February 2, 1941|
|James J. Clarke, February 11, 1941||Captain Hugh F. McCann, June 13, 1941||William J. Henderson, December 25, 1941|
|Thomas J. Wixted, March 15, 1942||Karl F. Kohler, August 12, 1943||Eugene J. Chavis, May 20, 1944|
|Guard William A. Doyle, FPPD, January 8, 1945||John F. Schaefer, March 31, 1945||Charles W. Brown, November 27, 1946|
|Henry Hicks, December 24, 1946||Cecil Ingling, January 30, 1947||James J. Quigley, April 3, 1947|
|Guard Thomas A. Ryan, FPPD, April 8, 1947||Sergeant Samuel Hewitt, April 23, 1947||Wallace B. Chapman, June 13, 1948|
|Sergeant Michael J. Hunt, August 4, 1948||Norman Stinger, January 25, 1949||Vincent P. Foley, March 20, 1949|
|George Mitchell, December 31, 1949||James J. Donahue, May 14, 1950||Sanford S. Smith, July 15, 1950|
|Louis Toriello, October 6, 1950||John Stanley Gordon, February 28, 1951||James J. Auter, October 15, 1953|
|Joseph J. DiDomenico, October 30, 1953||Albert Savich, December 13, 1953||John S. Colonna, December 24, 1953|
|Aux. P.O. William James Henhoeffer, December 25, 1955||Edward Flynn, August 15, 1956||Daniel Meehan, January 11, 1957|
|Stella Donahue, January 11, 1957||Robert T. Roberts, November 28, 1957||James F. Kane, June 5, 1959|
|Joseph A. Reiss, August 8, 1959||Joseph Franceschino, October 26, 1959||William Duross, April 15, 1960|
|Joseph McLaughlin, October 14, 1960||William Powell, November 19, 1960||James F. Christie, November 27, 1961|
|Lieutenant Daniel J. McCann, July 30, 1964||Guard Joseph Sankey, FPPD, September 9, 1964||Raymond Lovett, December 7, 1965|
|George Jacobs, July 15, 1966||Richard Rehmann, July 28, 1966||Robert D. White, September 2, 1966|
|Ernest Schwoeble, November 13, 1967||Ross Brackett, July 15, 1968||William Lackman, October 17, 1968|
|David Ellerbee, November 1, 1968||Charles R. Reynolds, October 26, 1969||Frederick Cione, January 30, 1970|
|Harry Lee Davis, April 6, 1970||Sergeant Frank R. Von Colln, FPPD, August 29, 1970||John M. McEntee Jr., February 20, 1971|
|Joseph V. Kelly, February 21, 1971||Detective Douglas J. Alexander, February 9, 1972||Raymond Fredericksdorf, February 19, 1972|
|Dominic Guglielmi, March 31, 1972||Leo Paul Van Winkle, June 27, 1972||James F. Duffin, January 14, 1973|
|Louis J. Vasger, April 13, 1973||David F. Sampson, December 12, 1973||Sergeant Michael S. Lingham, April 14, 1974|
|Sergeant William J. Kelleher, May 15, 1974||James A. McKale Jr., September 15, 1974||Allan H. Lewin, April 10, 1975|
|Ronald Trumbette, May 23, 1975||Artimus Johnson, October 20, 1975||Corporal William L. Daniels, December 16, 1975|
|John S. Trettin, February 29, 1976||James E. Griffin, March 5, 1976||Lieutenant Walter Szwajkowski, June 27, 1976|
|Francis W. Magro, March 30, 1977||James J. Ramp, August 8, 1978||Artis Norris, July 11, 1979|
|Sergeant Wilfred Doyle, December 21, 1979||William Washington, January 16, 1980||Robert S. Smith, April 23, 1980|
|Ernest W. Davis, July 16, 1980||Garrett T. (Gary) Farrell, September 26, 1980||James N. Mason, May 10, 1981|
|Daniel J. Faulkner, December 9, 1981||Richard Lendell, January 14, 1983||Sandra Griffin, February 13, 1983|
|Stephen E. Sawka, June 18, 1983||John Francis Duffy, December 10, 1983||Sergeant John H. McGill, December 17, 1983|
|William G. McCracken, February 5, 1984||James A. Rementer, May 21, 1985||Thomas Joseph Trench, May 28, 1985|
|Charles Patrick O'Hanlon, November 13, 1985||Sergeant Ralph M. Galdi, March 31, 1986||Daniel T. Gleason, June 5, 1986|
|William D. McCarthy, September 22, 1987||Albert A. Valentino, October 23, 1989||Winfred S. Hunter, June 4, 1990|
|Joaquin Montijo, June 15, 1990||Freddie Dukes, December 25, 1990||Daniel R. Boyle, February 6, 1991|
|Charles Thomas Knox, August 30, 1992||Robert Hayes, June 17, 1993||Stephen Dmytryk, November 16, 1993|
|Joseph Friel, December 4, 1994||Kevin Williams, July 31, 1995||Lauretha Vaird, January 2, 1996|
|Robert Porter, January 19, 1996||Pauline Harness, June 18, 1996||Detective John Cousin, August 15, 1996|
|Leddie James Brown, December 11, 1997||Jose M. Ortiz, September 21, 2000||Thomas M. Bray, November 13, 2001|
|Detective Anthony Johnson, January 7, 2003||Paris Williams Sr., June 21, 2005||Gary Skerski, May 8, 2006|
|Walter T. Barclay Jr., August 19, 2007||Charles Cassidy, November 1, 2007||Sergeant Stephen Liczbinski, May 3, 2008|
|Isabel Nazario, September 5, 2008||Sergeant Patrick McDonald, September 23, 2008||Sergeant Timothy Simpson, November 17, 2008|
- The Philadelphia Police Department is featured in the 1978 zombie film Dawn of the Dead in which the PPD S.W.A.T. team clears out a tenement building which was harboring the undead.
- The 1983 comedy Trading Places, Dan Aykroyd's character is detained and questioned by members of the PPD.
- The 1985 thriller Witness features Harrison Ford's character as a detective in the PPD who is hunted by corrupt members of the department.
- The PPD's Recruit Training Academy was featured in an episode of Da Ali G Show in which Ali G participates in several police training exercises.
- The police/drama series Cold Case involves detectives of the PPD.
- The 1990 action/comedy Downtown featuring Anthony Edwards and Forest Whitaker. Police officer Alex Kearney works in a rich plush Philadelphia suburb.
- The PPD is shown assisting members of the Baltimore Police Department on a 2002 episode of The Wire during the extradition and arrest of criminal Wee-Bey Brice.
- The PPD is featured in the series Presidential Agent written by W.E.B. Griffin.
- The PPD is featured in the series Badge of Honor written by W.E.B. Griffin.
- The PPD is also featured in the 2007 film Shooter, starring Mark Wahlberg.
- The PPD is also featured in the 2008 BBC documentary Law and Disorder in Philadelphia, presented by Louis Theroux.
One Franklin Square
Phone: (215) 686-1776
- List of law enforcement agencies in Pennsylvania
- Philadelphia Highway Patrol
- Philadelphia Fire Department
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