Police chief raise riles union leader after sacrifices

A day after Mayor Michael Nutter’s celebratory press conference to announce police Commissioner Charles Ramsey wasn’t leaving town, a mayoral candidate said he hopes Ramsey will earn his extra $60,000 annually by addressing school violence and the city blue-collar workers’ union head remained “shocked [by the] insult.”

When T. Milton Street Sr. announced his candidacy to Metro, he said his first order of business would be to “get rid of Ramsey” because of the “stop-terrorize-and-frisk” policy and because Nutter passed over candidates who came up through department ranks. He said Thursday that he still will do so.

“With an increased role and increased pay, we will be expecting increased effort and increased results,” said Street, who was “pleased that the administration responded so quickly to one of the issues I raised in my letter to the mayor requesting more effort and focus on reducing [public-school] violence.”

The harsh words came from District Council 33 President Herman “Pete” Matthews, who wouldn’t criticize Ramsey but did criticize the mayor for giving him a raise while union membership has gone four years without pay or health care increases to help the city navigate difficult financial times.

Asked whether this will surface should negotiations resume, he said, “Definitely.”

“My members are out there working hard. We’ve helped save hundreds of millions of dollars. The mayor knows that,” Matthews said. “It’s an insult to our membership.”

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