Philadelphia Murder Rate Down in 2013; Foot Patroling Credited
By Kim Glovas
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — New crime statistics from the Philadelphia Police Department show that the number of homicides is down in 2013 from the previous year.
In 2012, there were 89 murders by this date. This year, it’s only 54.
Jerry Ratcliffe, criminal justice professor at Temple University, is part of the Smart Policing Initiative team, which works on strategies to reduce crime. He says one of the biggest gamechangers has been foot patrols.
“The offenders who were sometimes committing crime are aware that there are foot patrol officers who are nearby, who know exactly who they are, and know exactly the sort of thing that they could get up to, and that tends to have a fairly suppressive effect on crime,” Ratcliffe tells KYW Newsradio.
He says when graduates come out of the Philadelphia Police Academy, they are assigned to neighborhood hot spots, where crime is high. He says those officers get to know the good and bad people in the neighborhood, and that helps keep a lid on bad behavior.
But, Ratcliffe adds, it’s too early to say the program is a complete success.