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New Philadelphia Police Commissioner Talks About Officer Morale and Crime

"Many of these officers feel they are hated and not respected and no one cares about them, but it's just not true. The community says, 'I want police in my community, I want constitutional policing, I want good policing.'"

Kevin Bethel served as deputy commission of the Philadelphia Police Department. He has been named the new commissioner by the mayor elect.Kevin Bethel served as deputy commission of the Philadelphia Police Department. He has been named the new commissioner by the mayor elect.Philadelphia PD

Mayor-elect Cherelle Parker was expected to formally announce Wednesday that she's tapped Kevin Bethel as Philadelphia's next police commissioner.

Ahead of the official announcement, Parker and Bethel joined Action News' Sharrie Williams for an exclusive interview to discuss the future of the department and plans for fighting crime.

Bethel is fully aware that recruiting and morale within the department have to be addressed.

"Many of these officers feel they are hated and not respected and no one cares about them, but it's just not true. The community says I want police in my community, I want constitutional policing, I want good policing. So part of my job is yeah, I'm going to be a champion for them, but also bring the community in to help build them up as it related to their morale," he added.

Asked about crime in the city, Bethel said, "We have a phenomenal Philadelphia Police Department, but we really have to reset to get back to being crime fighters, that is what we are built to do. And to your point to keeping this city safe, it's going to take a lot of work. We did not get here overnight, it's going to take a lot of work, the support of the mayor and many of the stakeholders out here. We have to have hope," said Bethel. "I'm a little old school when it comes to being tough and understanding that it's unacceptable. I have a very strong passion about guns and the impact guns have on our community, and what it does and how it destroys our community. So there is no wiggle room in that space."

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