Murders are up again this year in Philadelphia, and the city still has the highest homicide rate of the nation’s 10 most populous cities, says the Philadelphia Daily News. At the same time, fewer murders are getting solved. The city’s homicide tally stood at 324 Wednesday, including the eight victims allegedly killed in previous years by West Philly abortionist Kermit Gosnell. Last year, 306 people were killed, and the year before, 302. City officials prefer to focus on the past. When they compare numbers, they go back to 2007, when murders in Philly were at the five-year high of 392. Looking at it that way, they get a 17 percent decrease in the murder rate from 2007 to 2011.
Mayor Michael Nutter, during his 2007 campaign, pledged that he wouldn’t seek re-election if the 2010 homicide tally was more than the 288 killed in 2002. At his inauguration in 2008, he set what turned out to be an overly ambitious goal of slashing the city’s murder rate by 30 to 50 percent in three to five years. He won re-election this year. Everett Gillison, deputy mayor for public safety, said the city had been making progress, but when the economy tanked, the mayor was unable to implement some of his plans for reducing crime. Among the 10 most populous cities, Philly comes out on top, with 20.7 homicides per 100,000 residents. The next closest are Chicago, 15.7, and Dallas, 10.9.