Leslie Marant, the department’s first Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) officer, was recently let go, marking a dramatic shift in the leadership of the Philadelphia Police Department. Just hours before the city’s new mayor and police commissioner were scheduled to enter office, John Stanford, the acting police commissioner at the time, made one of his last decisions.
Marant, who started working there in April 2022, was told she was fired on Tuesday morning at a meeting. The choice was connected to a reorganization scheme by newly appointed Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel. Although the agency stated that Marant’s replacement will be sought nationally, the precise grounds for Marant’s termination were not immediately made public.
Under previous Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, Marant was employed as chief counsel to the Pennsylvania Human Rights Commission and had no prior expertise in law enforcement. The Democrat Cherelle Parker became the first black mayor of Philadelphia and issued an executive order stating a public safety emergency at the same time as she was fired.
Mayor Parker underlined her dedication to bringing law and order back to the city, which has been struggling with an increase in crime. For two years running, Philadelphia had more than 500 homicides; nevertheless, in 2022 and 2023, the city’s homicide rate decreased by 22%. But violent crimes like gun-related aggravated assaults and robberies continued to exceed pre-pandemic levels.
Commissioner Bethel is required by Parker’s emergency order to work with the leaders of the city’s departments to create a plan that addresses quality-of-life violations, decreases violent crime, increases the number of police officers, and closes outdoor drug markets. She emphasized the necessity of addressing the city’s drug and crime issues with compassion and vigor.
Parker also emphasized the significance of police officers getting to know the communities they serve and protect and acting as guardians rather than fighters. Bethel reiterated this message, promising to pursue individuals who damage and traumatize areas while restoring law and order in a sensitive and dignified manner.
The city’s administration and the Philadelphia Police Department have changed, and these moves are part of a larger initiative to address public safety issues while upholding the values of inclusion, diversity, and equity.