Philadelphia Police Department

Philadelphia Police Department

Infobox Law enforcement agency
agencyname = Philadelphia Police Department
patch = PhiladelphiaPD 1990 now patch.jpg
patchcaption =
motto = "Honor, Integrity, Service"
established = 1850
abbreviation = PPD
formedyear = 1751
country = United States
divtype = State
divname = Pennsylvania
subdivtype = City
subdivname = Philadelphia
police = Yes
local = Yes
sworntype = Officer
sworn = 6,600 (11/2007)
headquarters = "The Roundhouse" "nickname"
One Franklin Square
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
jurisdiction = Municipal
chief1position = Commissioner
chief1name = Charles H. Ramsey
unittype = Bureau
unitname = collapsible list |Special Operations|Patrol|Narcotics|Detective|Training|Administration|Staff Services|Internal Affairs
officetype = District
officename = collapsible list |1st District|2nd District|3rd District|4th District|5th District|6th District|7th District|8th District|9th District|12th District|14th District|15th District|16th District|17th District|18th District|19th District|22nd District|23rd District|24th District|25th District|26th District|35th District|39th District|77th District|92nd District
helicopters =
policeboats =
website = [ Official Site]

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 history

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 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 the early 1990s, a corruption scandal centered around officers in the department's 39th district in North Philadelphia led to the prosecutions of 6 officers, and attracted nationwide attention.

In 2008, several police officers proceeded to pull three males, Pete Hopkins, Brian Hall, and Dwayne Dyches, out of a vehicle and strike them repeatedly with batons. The three men were under surveilance at a near by park where they opened fire at another young male. This incident happened days after Sgt. Stephen Licbinski was murdered. The beating event received national attention.

Present-day Philadelphia Police Department

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

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

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 [cite web
last = Miller
first = Jeffrey
authorlink =
coauthors = Phil Bowdren
title = History of the Philadelphia Police Mounted Patrol
work =
publisher =
date = 2007-01-08
url =
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2008-07-18
] .On July 18, 2008 Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey confirmed that plans are in the works to recreate the mounted unit [cite web
last = Hanson
first = Tony
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Phila. to Rebuild Its Mounted Police Unit
work =
publisher = KYW Newsradio
date = 2008-07-18
url =
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2008-07-18
] .

Ranks within the Department

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 Officials

Police Marshalls

* John J. Keyser, 1850 - 1853
* John K. Murphy, 1853 - 1855

Chiefs of Police

* 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

* 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

* 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%

[ [ 2004 Philadelphia Police Annual Report] ]

Wall of Honor

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".

Popular culture

* 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.

ee also

* List of law enforcement agencies in Pennsylvania
* Philadelphia Highway Patrol
* Philadelphia Fire Department


External links

* [ Philadelphia Police Department official website]
* [ Honoring All Fallen Members of the Philadelphia Police Department]
* [ History of City of Philadelphia and its Police Department]

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