Philadelphia Mayor Declares Public Safety Emergency: A Bold Plan to Combat Crime


Philadelphia Mayor Takes Action to Combat Crime Crisis

Crime rates in major American cities have been spiraling out of control in recent years. However, there is hope on the horizon as local leaders begin to take action to address the issue and restore safety to their communities.

A New Approach

Last week, Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker made a bold move by declaring a public safety emergency in response to the rampant crime plaguing her city. In an executive order, she directed the police department to develop comprehensive plans to tackle crime throughout the region.

Under this new order, Police Commissioner Kevin J. Bethel, who was recently sworn in, will collaborate with other city departments to create a plan within 100 days. The plan will focus on hiring additional police officers, reducing violent crime, addressing quality of life issues, and permanently shutting down open-air drug markets.

Cherelle Parker

Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker signed an executive order declaring a public safety emergency last week and directed police to develop “comprehensive plans” that address crime throughout the city. (Getty Images)

A National Trend

The move by Mayor Parker reflects a growing trend among local leaders who recognize the urgent need to combat rising crime rates. Former New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton believes that many cities are starting to shift away from divisive policies and take responsibility for restoring law and order.

“You’re starting to see that pendulum swing back,” Bratton said. “For a particular time, particularly over the last couple of years after the George Floyd murder, it really swung too far to the left.”

Bratton identified cities like Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle as examples of “progressive woke” cities where crime is tearing at the fabric of the community. He believes that the breakdown in the criminal justice system, coupled with efforts to defund the police, has contributed to this crisis.

A Three-Pronged Approach

In order to effectively address crime, Bratton emphasizes the importance of following three key principles: acting constitutionally, compassionately, and consistently.

By adhering to these principles, local leaders and law enforcement officers can implement meaningful reforms while still maintaining public safety. Transparency is also crucial in gaining the trust and support of the community.

William Bratton

Bratton said there are three words that start with the letter C that local leaders and officers need to follow to be effective – constitutionally, compassionately and consistently. (U.S. Department of Homeland Security)

The Philadelphia Initiative

Mayor Parker’s 100-Day Action Plan aims to restore order and lawfulness throughout Philadelphia. She is committed to pursuing those who harm neighborhoods and has pledged to expedite resources to areas struggling with crime, gun violence, drugs, and addiction.

Parker’s proactive approach stands in stark contrast to that of her predecessor, former Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, who appeared to resist calls for action. The city’s crime crisis has deterred potential residents and hampered police department recruitment efforts.

Crime Statistics

Last year, Philadelphia recorded 410 homicides, a decrease from the previous year but still alarmingly high compared to other major cities. From November 6 to December 31, the police department reported a total of 1,855 violent crime offenses and 10,722 property crime offenses.

While the road to reclaiming safety may be challenging, Mayor Parker’s declaration of a public safety emergency signals a turning point in Philadelphia’s fight against crime. With a comprehensive plan in the works and a commitment to constitutional, compassionate, and consistent action, there is hope for a brighter future for the City of Brotherly Love.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.