When Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter took office in 2008, he set audacious goals for ending the city’s long run as one of the nation’s most violent places, says the Philadelphia Inquirer. In two years, homicides dropped nearly a quarter and shootings by 15 percent. The flush of early success has been tempered by the city’s toughest streets. By late Monday, the homicide count was 337, up from 324 in 2011, the third straight year of increase.
There is good news: overall crime is down more than 3 percent this year, and 9 percent since Nutter took office. Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey hopes the sense of urgency on crime after the school massacre in Newtown, Ct., doesn’t fade with time and political pressure. “If 330 murders doesn’t count as mass murder, I don’t know what is,” he said. “We only wake up for a brief moment in time and then we fall back to sleep. It’s not going to correct itself.”