Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey acknowledged today that he has had discussions with Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel about his interest in returning to his hometown to run the Chicago Police Department.
Emanuel "did contact me ... just to see if there was any interest," Ramsey told the Daily News. "It is my hometown. I can't just dismiss it."
Ramsey spent three decades in the Chicago PD, rising over the years from a patrol cop to the rank of deputy superintendent. He left in 1998 for the top cop's job in Washington, D.C., and took the reigns of the Philadelphia Police Department in 2008.
Emanuel takes office in mid-May. The civilian-run Chicago Police Board is expected to present him a list of three candidates for the superintendent's job before then. "There is a process," Ramsey said. "This may not be anything. There's a lot of good candidates out there."
Ramsey said he and his wife enjoy living in Philadelphia, and he has a particularly good working relationship with Mayor Nutter. The mayor told Philly Clout earlier today that he wants Ramsey to stay.
"We make a great team," Ramsey said. "It's not an easy choice."
Ramsey noted that he has never worked with Emanuel. "I met him once when he was working with the Clinton administration," he said. "He has a very clear vision of what he wants to do."
The commissioner said he doesn't expect to hear from Emanuel again until the search for Chicago's next superintedent draws to a close.
Becoming the subject of national speculation has been flattering, Ramsey said, but he's been careful not to pay too much attention to all of the rumors and headlines. "It's easy to lose focus. I have a job here, and I don't want to be distracted," he said. "We have a lot of serious issues in Philadelphia."