As Philadelphia deals with a spike in homicides that makes some neighborhoods feel like killing fields, police, politicians, community leaders, and criminologists are looking at tactics used elsewhere to confiscate illegal guns, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. They include dedicated task forces, and more use of the “stop-and-frisk” technique. “This is not something crafted out of thin air. We’ve seen some of these tactics utilized in other places,” said former City Councilman Michael Nutter, a candidate for mayor and a proponent of stop-and-frisk. He compared stop-and-frisk to post-9/11 air travelers’ putting up with more security restrictions.
Nutter said the program should begin with intensive police training in “probable cause” and “articulable suspicion” – the court-approved test for when an officer can pat down the outer clothing of someone suspected of illicit activity. Criminologist Lawrence Sherman of the University of Pennsylvania noted that his 1992 study of aggressive enforcement against concealed weapons in Kansas City, Mo., provided the first evidence that such programs can lower homicide rates.