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Mayor Nutter Provides Crime Fighting Measures Update


Thursday, March 22, 2012

March 22, 2012

Mayor Michael A. Nutter, Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and District Attorney Seth Williams provided an update on the City’s crime fighting measures announced on January 26, 2012 at Strawberry Mansion High School. The City is focused on lowering the crime rate through a coordinated strategy with city, state and federal law enforcement and criminal justice agencies, partnering with community organizations, increasing police presence in targeted neighborhoods, and offering rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction in homicide and illegal firearm cases.

“Our Administration and our partners are transparent and accountable to the citizens of Philadelphia. Although there is still a lot of work to be done, we are making progress overcoming violence, prosecuting the perpetrators and restoring our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Nutter. “We must be a city that is intolerant of crime; a city where we protect our neighborhoods and each other. We are putting more uniformed police officers on the street, installing surveillance cameras on the streets that need them, and encouraging citizens—with more opportunities than ever before—to speak out. If you see something, you need to say something.”

"Fighting crime is a joint effort, and I applaud the Mayor and the Commissioner for all of their hard work," said District Attorney Seth Williams. "Criminals need to know that there are consequences for their actions, and know this if you are caught with an illegal gun in the city of Philadelphia you will be punished."

Mayor Nutter outlined progress made by the City and its partners in recent weeks:

1. Tomorrow, Police Class #359 of 55 Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) cadets will graduate from the police academy. On June 15th, a police class of 30 cadets will graduate and on July 27th, another police class of 30 cadets will graduate. In the Mayor’s budget address, he announced that the PPD will hire 400 uniformed officers by the end of FY2013 and maintain a strength of 6,500 officers over the course of the Five Year Plan.

2. The District Attorney’s Office, through the enforcement of Sections 6106 and 6108 of Title 18 of the Pennsylvania Crime Code, has worked with the courts to ensure that individuals caught possessing illegal guns are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. In January 2012, there was a 22.6 percent increase over January 2011 in the number of individuals with illegal gun charges who are being held in City jails in pre-trial detention. In February 2012, there was a 16.5 percent increase over February 2011.

3. The re-launched Operation Pressure Point, Pressure Point 2.0, will begin on April 13, 2012 and will conclude on November 1, 2012. The initiative targets the city’s most volatile areas within 12 police districts and coordinates intelligence efforts by City, Commonwealth and Federal partners.

Participating agencies include: Philadelphia Police Department, United States Marshals, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, First Judicial District of Pennsylvania Warrant Unit, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, United States Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program, Philadelphia Juvenile Probation Department, City of Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, and the Pennsylvania State Police and Pa. Liquor Control Board.

3. Since the City’s cable station, Channel 64, began airing Philadelphia’s 100 Most Wanted, 21 individuals from the list have been arrested. Additionally, and 215-686-TIPS (215-686-8477) have received more than 700 tips since January 26, 2012. In April, the PPD’s text tipline will become operational.

4. The PPD currently has 120 operational surveillance cameras throughout the City. The Department will be installing 50 additional cameras in the 14th and 39th Police Districts by September 30th. The funding for these cameras is part of the Philadelphia Critical Infrastructure Protection Program, which is funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, established by legislation authored and sponsored by Congressman Chaka Fattah.

Currently, 71 PPD surveillance cameras are in need of repair. The PPD has issued a competitively bid contact for the repair and/ or replacement of these cameras. The PPD will prioritize the repairs for the highest crime areas first. The repairs will be completed over the next two to four months.

5. On the Mayor’s SafeCam Business Incentive Program, the PPD and Commerce Department’s new surveillance camera program for businesses in targeted commercial corridors: on May 1st, business owners can apply to the Commerce Department to be reimbursed up to 50 percent of the cost or up to $1,000 for an installed digital camera security system. The systems must meet minimum resolution requirements and must be registered with the PPD’s SafeCam initiative, which encourages businesses and residents to register their surveillance cameras with the PPD to assist with the apprehension and prosecution of individuals participating in criminal acts.

6. Mayor Nutter reaffirmed that the City is using new incentives to increase arrests and convictions. The City of Philadelphia will offer up to $20,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone in a homicide case. Furthermore, the City of Philadelphia will offer a $500 reward for tips leading to the arrest and conviction of a person carrying an illegal firearm. The City has received 7 to 10 tips that could lead to rewards following a conviction.

7. On April 21st, the Mayor will host a meeting at St. Joseph’s University with targeted providers of anti-violence programs working directly in neighborhoods to build metrics and measures for reducing the level of violence in Philadelphia’s neighborhoods.