Philadelphia, PA – March 30, 2022 – Today, Councilmember and Majority Leader Cherelle L. Parker (9th District) unveiled the Philadelphia Neighborhood Safety and Community Policing Plan, which calls for investments in community policing and quality-of-life issues to restore safety and prevent crime in our neighborhoods and on our commercial corridors.
After listening to the concerns of residents, community leaders, and business owners, Councilmember Parker designed a holistic, five-point initiative that offers concrete solutions in an intergovernmental framework. With this Plan, Councilwoman Parker has crafted an innovative approach to address public safety issues in a way that empowers the people so that concerns are heard sooner, crime is deterred, and residents’ interactions with law enforcement can occur in a proactive and preventative way.
In 2021, a record 562 homicides and 2,332 shootings occurred. Since January 1st of this year, 121 homicides have been committed. “It is time to reimagine policing in Philadelphia and implement a true community policing plan to ensure the safety of everyone in Philadelphia,” said Councilmember Parker. “I am calling for hiring 300 new beat and bike police officers, addressing quality of life issues, providing more support for victims of crime, and truly engaging the community in public safety. We have a Plan that will work, and I am going to do everything I can to ensure that it is implemented across our city.”
“This Plan is a golden example of government listening and responding to the concerns of residents and businesses. I applaud Councilmember Cherelle Parker for listening to our businesses in West Philadelphia and putting their demands of bike cops and community policing on paper with this Plan, and the subsequent budget negotiations that will follow,” said Jabari Jones, president of the West Philadelphia Corridor Collaborative.
The Plan’s five areas of focus are:
- Community Policing
- Hire 300 more police officers to ensure cops are on the beat in every neighborhood
- Put more bike cops on the streets
- Strengthen police-community relationships with a more visible presence
- Hiring More Police & Other Personnel Challenges
- Spend $1 million more to recruit new officers for a more diverse force
- Streamline the police recruitment process
- Hire Public Safety Enforcement Officers to enforce traffic and parking issues so police can be freed up to fight crime
- Improve the Police Explorer Cadet Program to attract more recruits and create a better pipeline
- Quality-of-Life Issues
- Increase funding to the Police, Commerce, and Streets Departments for security cameras to deter crime
- Add funding for Licenses & Inspections to secure vacant buildings and address nuisances
- Require the Streets Department to fix nearly 13,000 defective streetlights
- Increase funding for neighborhood commercial corridor cleaning
- More Support for Crime Victims & Witnesses
- Fill every vacancy in the 911 Dispatch System
- Establish a hotline to help victims and residents access City services
- Strengthen and fund the witness relocation program
- Increase reward funding for reporting crime information
- Strengthening Community Engagement
- Provide more training for neighborhood safety groups
- Increase alternative path programs for at-risk youth
- Enforce youth curfews and invest in community evening resource centers
- Invest in workforce development initiatives to create more jobs
- Implement the $400 million Neighborhood Preservation Initiative
- Continue funding Community Investment Grants to reduce violence
The release of Councilmember Parker’s Neighborhood Safety and Community Policing Plan coincides with President Joe Biden releasing his Building A Better America FY23 budget, which calls for $30 billion in spending on law enforcement, crime prevention, violence intervention, and community policing, along with an additional $3.2 billion in state and local grants. The release of Councilmember Parker’s Plan also comes one day prior to the Mayor’s annual budget address, so that these measures can be prioritized and funded in the FY23 City budget.
“It is really gratifying to see that the Philadelphia Neighborhood Safety and Community Policing Plan is thoughtful and incorporates multi-dimensional approaches for reducing crime and improving safety and sanitation, elements that are at the heart of having healthy, livable neighborhoods,” says Maria Gonzalez, president of HACE. “The Plan’s strength is that it aims to harness the power of residents, community leaders, elected officials, and, most importantly, law enforcement for improving safety and cleanliness in all neighborhoods in this great City.”
“We deserve to be partners in a collective and a collaborative way that makes sense and empowers people and brings us together” says Chantay Love, co-founder and director of E.M.I.R. (Every Murder Is Real) Healing Center. “We need a government that comes together for the safety and well-being of the people they serve, in a holistic and trauma-informed way.”
The Philadelphia Neighborhood Safety and Community Policing Plan is a framework for elected officials and agencies to work together in order to create the City we know we can be – one that is safe for people in every neighborhood to live, work, visit, and play. Our current situation is not sustainable. The reimagining of policing is necessary for public safety.
Parker added, “I am the mother to a 9-year-old son. He is a beautiful Black boy with locs. And I am well aware of the challenges that he may face growing up as a Black boy, and then as a Black man in this world, and what that means when he may interact with law enforcement. But I also know that he will be less safe if things continue the way they are. Communities will never be safe if they don’t trust law enforcement. At the same time, communities will never trust law enforcement if the only time they see them is when they’re responding to crime. Community policing is the key to building trust, and the key to keeping communities safe.”
“If we don’t take action now,” Councilmember Parker said, “2022 will be more dangerous than 2021, and that’s a chance we cannot take. We need to prioritize the safety of the people who live, work, go to school, and own businesses in all neighborhoods across the City.”
All Philadelphians – each and every one of us – deserve to be safe. And Philadelphians rightly expect our City and law enforcement to do everything in their power to keep us safe. The Philadelphia Neighborhood Safety and Community Policing Plan turns that expectation into action.
Read the plan:
Councilmember and Majority Leader Cherelle L. Parker proudly serves the Ninth Council District, which stretches through the northwest and northeast communities, including East Mt. Airy, West Oak Lane, East Oak Lane, Olney, Lawncrest, Lawndale, Burholme, and Oxford Circle.