Mayor Nutter today appointed Susan Slawson -- a police lieutenant who currently runs the Police Athletic League -- as the city's recreation commissioner.

"This is a tall order. There is a lot of work to be done," Nutter said at a City Hall press conference packed with police officers. "But I know Susan is very well prepared for the challenge."

In her new role, Slawson, 46, will oversee all city recreation facilities and programming. She will report to Deputy Mayor for Health and Opportunity Don Schwartz. Her salary will be roughly $120,000, Nutter said. (The city's last recreation commissioner earned $123,188.00.)

Slawson said she was thrilled by the new opportunity.

"I'm excited because, you know what?" Slawson said. "I really think I can make a difference."

Slawson, a 20 year veteran of the police department, will take a leave to serve as recreation commissioner and will retain her police rank.