Philadelphia Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson, who leaves today after 43 years in his department, says violent crime is down and news media coverage is “irresponsible,” reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. Johnson will continue to lead the volunteer organization called 10,000 Men, which helps patrol communities and works with police to help keep peace and prevent crime.
Last year, shhootings were down more than 13 percent, with 270 fewer shootings in 2007 than in 2006, when 3,422 people were shot. Homicides were down 3 percent, with 392 last year compared with 406 in 2006. On New Year’s Eve, the Philadelphia Daily News ran a headline and article on the murder rate that clearly irked him. The headline read “This bleeding city; call it ‘Killadelphia’?” The next day, The Inquirer reported that Philadelphia had the highest homicide rate among large U.S. cities even though murder and violent crime in the city were down in 2007. “I don’t care how bad it is. Be factual and be fair,” Johnson said, referring to the Daily News article.