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Philadelphia Closes 2011 With Highest Per-Capita Murder Rate In U.S.

By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia is closing out another year with homicides up again. On a per-capita measurement, the city has the highest murder rate among big U.S. cities.

The homicide tally was 324 heading into the last two days of the year, above last year’s 306, and 302 the year before.

Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey says the five-year high water mark was 2007, “It’s one thing to say in ’07 we had 392. But, for the 324 we’ve had this year, it doesn’t bring any comfort to the family. It certainly doesn’t bring any comfort to me.”

Among the ten largest cities, Philadelphia’s murder rate was 20.7 per 100,000. The next closest is Chicago, at 15.7, according to  Commissioner Ramsey, who was Chicago’s top cop, before he came here from Washington DC.

“We’d have to be at the 230 mark in order to get down below where Chicago is right now.”

That, despite the fact the number of shooting incidents is down 3.2%.

“We’re getting people shot multiple times. We’re getting people shot in the head at a higher rate more than we had before.”

Like one job a few nights ago, “How do you shoot somebody 13 times? What kind of mentality is that. There’s no legislation that can fix that. There’s no deployment strategy that can fix that.”

The District of Columbia is on pace to record the fewest number of homicides in 50 years, with 108 murders, so far this year. DC officials credit the decline to the quick turnaround time in closing cases.

Commissioner Ramsey says last year, Philadelphia’s murder-clearance rate was up, but this year, it’s dropped again, to 60%, which is two points below the national average.

“We’ve got a lot of very violent people out there on the streets that need to be taken off the streets, or they will kill again.”

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  • Hater

    Profile, stop, frisk, beat, taze, waterboard, shoot, tie to patrol car and drag. Whatever it takes to get to the source of the guns. 10 years mandatory for crimes committed with handgun. Most importantly, keep the mf’ers locked up when you catch them. Oh yeah, stop voting Demoncrat!

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  • Disenfranchised Dad

    My son got mugged in Philly this year. He’s a Temple University student. He got his stuff back (because he was quick on his feet and figured out what to do) and they caught the crooks red-handed. Then the bureaucracy of the justice system set in. They delayed and each time my son missed class. Then the arresting officer didn’t show up for the hearing. Eventually, my son had to get back to his studies; and as a result, I’m sure these criminals walked. What a system! It’s no mystery why it’s so bad in Philly: it’s the god-damned wild west. Where’s Rizzo when you need him?

  • DonM

    Parasitic defense attorneys combined with the judicial system’s coddle-the-criminal mentality contributes to this. Low-life uneducated girls/women having numerous illegitimate children out of wed-lock, with multiple M.I.A. fathers, are the seeds of the future criminal.

    Contemporary society has grown apathetic, and moral values are at an all time low. The current administration, with its safety net mentality in my opinion will exacerbate the problem.

  • Bill

    My great granddaughter is the 5th generation of my family living in Philadelphia. I remember the days when I was a child, and we never had to lock our doors a night Who is the problem in Philly.?????

  • Keep doing the same thing wrong?

    HEY LETS SPEND LESS ON THE SCHOOLS AND MORE ON JOB CREATION, LETS PUT AWAY CRIMINALS FOR LONGER SENTENCES AND STICK IT TO THESE INVISIBLE JUDGES WHO DO BELIEVE IN GETTING TOUGHER. THIS DEMOCRATIC CITY(50 PLUS YEARS) NEEDS A CHANGE. (IT ISN”T WORKING). Who are the politicans in the areas with the problems,(democrats), why are those voters afraid of change? Isn’t diversity and new ideas what they are about? Catch 22. They don”t make sense!!!!!

    • change this brother

      judjes who DON’Tget tougher.

  • d.

    I have an idea! Let’s take away money from schools so we have a lot of uneducated children growing up in Philly. Then the only way they know how to make money is by living off the streets! This should solve everything.

    • Cens ors are s cared little tools

      Teach the worthless thugs how to shine shoes and scrub toilets after deporting the illegals. Why pretend that they’re actually learning anything in da skoos, no me sane?

  • NS

    A Nutter day, a Nutter failure.

  • Overseer Justin Cohen

    If your wer to include the surrounding “suburbs” like the East end of Upper Darby which is essentially west West Philly, the rate would be higher. The murders here in west West Philly are usauly comitted by recent Philly folks and the victims are usualy recent Philly folks.
    Don’t even get me started on the rectum of PA, otherwise known as Chester.

    So, it may not necesarrily be so that the crime rate is down in Philly, it has just changed zip codes and jurisdictions.

  • john

    Might have something to do with how easy it is to buy a gun in Pennsylvania.The gun owner leave the gun in his house then the house gets broken into. An endless supply of guns for the bad guys..

    • Gra pe A pe Rules3

      Is you libt arded? We need all the guns we can get to protects us against Feral Philly gr oi ds.

  • kate

    nothing to be proud of– the common man will soon take to carry a gun for protection– and if we follow in Detroit’s steps this city might as well close up because no one will want to live or work here–as far as what Ramsey said about shooting someone 13 times– they are just animals plain and simple
    God help us all

  • Sam Spade

    Give the police comm another $60,000 pay increase.

  • CharleneW

    That is horrific news.

  • Donna Lauria

    What a WONDERFUL thing for Philly to be known for!!! That’s pretty bad – more homicides than even New York and New York/Manhattan is at least twice as large as Philadelphia.

    This city is disgusting – in every way imaginable.

    • John

      If you find my city disgusting STAY OUT.

    • Foster

      Hey smarty pants, it’s murders PER CAPITA (i.e. murder RATE). NY has just under 500 murders, which is more than Philadelphia had. I agree that the city is pretty disgusting though… especially with the obesity and race wars.

      • Concerned Citizen

        Yeah, Foster is right. Race wars!! There are mini race riots all over this city almost daily. In fact, I was involved in one the other night on the Night Owl. This city is highly segregated and if you don’t see it you are BLIND. As for the murders go, the population of New York is over 8 million people while Philadelphia’s population is under 2 million. If we do the math here, going by a 1.5 million person population in Philly, we would have around 1,700 murders. Either way you look at it, this city is disgusting. Everywhere you walk you smell urine and see trash. Center City is not immune to the violence either. Don’t be fooled by the numbers. City government doesn’t care enough and the money is put into the wrong places. This city is filled with ghettos and slums and there are many places in this city where you cannot even walk down a street. I live in a hood where I hear shootings almost nightly and NOTHING is done about it. It’s almost as if it were accepted. This city is a lost cause.

      • John

        Race wars? What is this LA? Oh and America has an obesity problem even worse than Philadelphia. Move to the south or midwest if you think people are fat here.

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