Philadelphia Targets Dangerous Area With Show Of Force


In an unusual display of police might, Philadelphia Mayor Street and Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson yesterday announced plans to deploy 80 additional police officers in a southwest city district, says the Philadelphia Inquirer. Officials invited the news media to a roll call of the 80. The effort, which starts today, targets a district that “has been troubled by gun violence,” Street said, and is viewed as one of the most dangerous areas in the city. “We are starting an enhanced program of public safety,” Street said. “We will be very aggressive in deploying in this area.”

As of Tuesday, there had been 79 murders in the city this year, a 27 percent increase over a year earlier. Philadelphia’s total exceeded those in bigger cities; for instance, New York, with eight million people, had 66 homicides as of Sunday. Street said the deployment would involve a “holistic approach,” adding that other city departments would work in the area to clean and seal vacant properties and lots, remove trash and graffiti, and “provide an enhanced level of social services to the community.” The initiative targets Southwest Philadelphia, he said, because “you put a tourniquet where the bleeding is. This is where the bleeding has been.” Johnson warned those on probation or parole in the area: “Everyone in this district who violates probation or parole, we’re coming after you.”


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