PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia Mayor-elect Cherelle Parker will reportedly name Kevin J. Bethel as her selection to become the next police commissioner in the City of Brotherly Love, according to two sources with knowledge of the talks.
Bethel, 60, is the current chief of school safety for the School District of Philadelphia after previously serving the Philadelphia Police Department for 30 years, rising to the rank of deputy commissioner in 2008 under then-Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
The hire is Parker’s first staffing decision after winning mayoral election earlier this month. She will take office in January.
Parker campaigned on a pledge to end “lawlessness” in the city by hiring hundreds of police officers to the depleted 5,500 person department, while increasing the number of personnel who patrol on foot and bicycle, and embracing tough-on-crime tactics that can make life uncomfortable for career criminals.
Bethel will have his hands full as the police department tries to navigate the city out of a three-year wave of violent crime while it has been consumed by low morale and a shortage of nearly 1,000 cops.