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Ellen Thompson, of Cherry Hill, age 68

New Philadelphia Police Commissioner Swearing-in Ceremonies Tuesday

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Kevin J. Bethel  Philadelphia Police Commissioner



Philadelphia, PA – The Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) is proud to announce the swearing-in of Kevin J. Bethel as its new Police Commissioner. The ceremony will be held on Tuesday, January 2nd, 2024, at 1:30 P.M. at The Russell Conwell Middle School located at 1849 E. Clearfield Street.

The ceremony will be emceed by Russell Conwell Principal Ms. Erica Green. Mayor Cherelle L. Parker will formally administer the oath of office. Commissioner Bethel was Mayor Parker’s first major personnel announcement, and she said she viewed Bethel as a public safety expert with a national reputation in juvenile justice reform, while also possessing a deep background in knowledge about policing in Philadelphia.

Returning Home with Decades of Experience:

Commissioner Bethel is a familiar face to the PPD, with 29 years of respected service to the Department under his belt. He grew up in Southwest Philadelphia and joined the force in 1986, rising through the ranks to become Deputy Commissioner of Patrol Operations before retiring in 2016.

Committed to Public Safety and Community:

Since leaving the PPD, Commissioner Bethel has continued to serve the city with distinction. He was a Stoneleigh Fellow, working to expand the School Diversion Program. He also most-recently served as Chief of School Safety for the Philadelphia School District from 2019-2023.

P/C Bethel has chosen to be sworn in at Russell Conwell Middle School, underscoring his strong commitment as Police Commissioner to the Kensington community and its thousands of students who face unimaginable circumstances going to and from school. Aligning his goals with the Mayor's vision, he is dedicated to making Philadelphia a safer city for all.

A Data-Driven Leader for a Modern Police Force:

Commissioner Bethel brings a wealth of experience and a firm commitment to data-driven policing. During his previous tenure with PPD, he was instrumental in developing and implementing successful crime-fighting strategies that led to significant reductions in violent crime and record-low homicide rates.

Media Invitation:

The PPD welcomes all media representatives to attend the swearing-in ceremony. An area will be designated in the back of the school auditorium for camera staging.

Parking for media will be available in the rear parking lot of Russell Conwell Middle School. Please enter from the entrance on the 3100 block of Jasper Street.

Note: The area in the vicinity of  1800 E. Clearfield may experience intermittent street closures from 12 pm to 3 pm on the day of the ceremony.


The Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) is the nation's fourth largest police department with over 5400 sworn members and 600 civilian personnel. The PPD is the primary law enforcement agency responsible for serving Philadelphia County, extending over 140 square miles in which approximately 1.5 million reside. The Department is divided into 21 police districts.