WASHINGTON — Former Washington, D.C. Police Chief Charles Ramsey says heightened scrutiny of police departments across the country will strengthen and improve policing nationwide.
The 2014 police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri and last year’s death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, fatally injured while in police custody, are just two of the incidents that have brought a long, hard look at police.
“These are challenging times that we’re in now but they’re also times when a lot of opportunity exists for us to be able to really strengthen the profession,” Ramsey says.
The National Law Enforcement Museum in downtown Washington hosted the retired Philadelphia police commissioner Wednesday. Ramsey left the Metropolitan Police Department in 2006 after serving nearly 9 years as chief.
Ramsey acknowledges that high profile police shootings and viral videos have contributed to eroding trust of police in some neighborhoods.
“We have to deal with it. We cannot have any community that feels alienated and feels as if they’re not getting fair and impartial policing services,” Ramsey says.
The retired police commissioner and chief says police must strengthen ties to communities, review their own practices and make aggressive changes when they’re needed.