Kevin Hannah pored over the new Philadelphia crime-fighting plan last week, fruitlessly searching for evidence that his embattled South Philadelphia neighborhood might get more patrol officers, says the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I thought it was a typo. Why aren’t we in there?” said Hannah, president of the 17th Police District Advisory Council. Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey identified nine high-crime districts where he wants to shift 200 officers to patrol duty. The 17th District was not among the chosen few.
The nine districts Ramsey selected for special attention are some of the city’s most populous and account for nearly two-thirds of its homicides. The chosen districts combined account for 55 percent of the population. Ramsey hopes to dramatically push crime down this year. He wants to reduce homicides by 25 percent and violent crime by 20 percent – 100 fewer killings and 4,000 fewer violent crimes in 2008. Violent crimes include homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. Crime totals are not the only factor that affected Ramsey’s decision. There are staffing concerns, such as injuries or anticipated retirements. The crime rates used in the Inquirer’s analysis do not reflect trends or seasonal crime spikes that may alarm district commanders.