New Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey has unveiled a crime-fighting strategy that aims to achieve lofty goals in his first year – 100 fewer homicides and a 20 percent cut in violent crimes – by shifting a small number of officers onto street duty, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. To increase visibility, Ramsey wants 200 more officers in uniformed patrols by May 1 in the city’s nine most crime-infested police districts – a 5 percent increase in patrol officers.
He called for more aggressive policing, including more frequent use of “stop-and-frisk” tactics, with the aim of confiscating 5 percent more illegal weapons. Ramsey will disband a 46-officer tactical unit created by his predecessor, but he wants to establish a “mobile force” unit of 70 officers working weekend overtime shifts in the nine targeted districts during the summer. He called for a big increase in surveillance cameras by the end of the year, from 26 to 250. “There’s nothing fancy about the plan,” Ramsey said. “This isn’t Batman and Robin suddenly coming out of a cave somewhere to solve all our problems.” Said John McNesby, pesident of the local Fraternal Order of Police: “It’s pretty much just back-to-the-basics policing.”