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Philly’s new deputy police commissioner

Mayor Cherelle Parker and Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel last week announced the appointment of Pedro Rosario as a deputy police commissioner.

The swearing-in ceremony took place on Jan. 11 at the 24th and 25th Police District station at 3901 Whitaker Ave. Rosario’s job will be to address public safety in the Kensington area as part of the department’s new “Kensington Initiative.”

Rosario is a 29-year veteran of the Police Department who has risen from a 911 dispatcher role through various supervisory roles. He is the city’s first Hispanic deputy police commissioner.

“Earlier this week, I had the privilege of meeting with community members from Kensington to listen to their hopes and aspirations for their neighborhood,” Parker said. “Today, I’m proud to return and stand with Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel as he administers the oath to Pedro Rosario, whose unmatched qualifications and 29 years of service make him the best candidate to lead our efforts in Kensington.”

Bethel said, “For too long, Kensington has borne the scars of drugs and blight. It’s our charge to turn the tide, and to lead this effort, I’m excited to announce the creation of a new position within the department: Deputy Commissioner of the Kensington Initiative. For this role, I have determined that there’s no better person to lead the charge than Capt. Pedro Rosario. With 29 years of dedicated experience in the PPD – most of which was spent serving in various roles in East Division – Pedro embodies the grit and dedication this mission demands.” 

During her first day in office, Parker declared a Public Safety Emergency. Bethel and his department will produce an outline of that plan within 30 days, and a definitive plan within the first 100 days of the Parker administration.

District Attorney Larry Krasner applauded Rosario’s appointment.

“The attorneys and other professionals of the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office send warm congratulations to Deputy Police Commissioner Pedro Rosario on his recent appointment to Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel’s executive team. The DAO salutes Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker and Police Commissioner Bethel for their vision and leadership on this historic selection of the first Latino Deputy Police Commissioner in the history of the Philadelphia Police Department. Over the last several months the DAO has met weekly with City Council, PPD and stakeholders discussing modern enforcement and modern prevention strategies for the Kensington community. We look forward to building on our communication and collaboration with our partners in PPD to prioritize public safety, support for crime victims, and criminal justice reform in Philadelphia.”

Members of the Philadelphia House Delegation support Rosario’s appointment.

Rep. Jose Giral (D-180th dist.) is confident that Rosario will be an effective commissioner, based on his credentials. Giral witnessed his work firsthand while Rosario was assigned to the 24th Police District.

“I have known Pedro Rosario for a long time. I met him while I was a member of the Police Advisory Commission and this conferred me the opportunity to work hand in hand with him and the 24th Police District,” Giral said. “Rosario is boots on the ground from day one because he knows exactly all the particulars of the issues impacting our community. I am glad to have him onboard, and I look forward to collaborating with him.”

Asociación Puertorriqueňos En Marcha (APM), a Latino community and economic development nonprofit, commended Rosario’s appointment.

“Deputy Commissioner Rosario has the experience and compassion to take the lead in the Parker administration’s mission to improve the quality of life of the residents of the East Police Division. Having the support and buy-in of the officers, he has made great strides within the community, evidenced by their attendance and vocal support. As a Latino, his appointment is a moment of pride for all of us and validates the hard work and sacrifices we have made as police officers for our city and all of its residents,” said APM board member and Police Inspector Javier Rodriguez. ••

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