Philadelphia mayor-elect Michael Nutter wants to limit the movement of people in high-crime neighborhoods and direct officers to increase searches of people on the street for illegal weapons in a desperate effort to curtail gun violence and stop the slayings of young black men, says the Washington Post. A persistently high number of killings threatens to top 400 for a second consecutive year. Nutter plans to bring the police force to full strength for the first time in years, saturate high-crime communities with officers, and establish curfews in those neighborhoods. The mayor hopes to change municipal employment practices to give former prisoners a better shot at being hired by the city, and he wants to give a three-year tax credit to businesses that hire ex-offenders.
“Last year, 406 people were killed, 70 percent of them black men,” Nutter told the Post. “If it were anything else, an explosion or a health outbreak, the federal government would have our city on lockdown trying to find out what’s going on with agencies we haven’t even heard of. Parts of Nutter’s proposal have been used in other cities to reduce crime. Aggressive “stop and frisk” tactics have been put into place in Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, and Minneapolis. “It’s hard to tell how big Nutter plans to make this,” said Stephanos Bibas, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania and a former federal prosecutor in Manhattan. “Philadelphia is just getting around to the strategies that New York was using 15 years ago and Boston was trying to use 20 years ago. I think this could be very big. I think it’s a lot bigger than anything Philadelphia has done before.” The mayor’s plans will be implemented by former Washington, D.C., police chief Charles Ramsey, whom Nutter appointed to head the Philadelphia force.