Philadelphia Homicides Down Sharply, Ramsey Claims Some Credit


Philadelphia has recorded 54 homicides this year, a 39 percent drop from a year ago, reports the Philadelphia Daily News. Shootings were down 20 percent and overall violent crime fell 9 percent through March 31. Whether that progress can be maintained through the notoriously violent spring and summer months is anyone’s guess. “It is a little early. We haven’t hit the warm weather yet, but we’re moving in the right direction,” said Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. He noted that the police department had a “significant” shake-up of district captains and other commanders several months ago, and placed a greater emphasis on Smart Policing strategies developed during the last few years with the help of Temple University criminologist Jerry Ratcliffe and others. Ratcliffe said his team has helped to train police officers to analyze crime data better and craft long-term solutions for violent hot spots. The department will soon kick off Operation Pressure Point, the annual April-to-October law-enforcement initiative that targets criminals in the city’s most violent districts.

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