PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –– Philadelphia City Council’s Special Committee on Gun Violence Prevention held a virtual hearing on Tuesday morning. The committee is tasked with addressing the city’s plague of gun violence and coming up with a strategy to mitigate it.
“I am holding this Council hearing on gun violence prevention to examine the City’s strategic plan to address gun violence, save our youth, and reduce the murder rate in Philadelphia,” Councilman Kenyatta Johnson said. “The level of gun violence we experienced in Philadelphia in 2020 and so far in 2021 is unacceptable. I will continue to highlight the issue of gun violence in our city, and to advocate for solutions, as long as this plague endures.”READ MORE: $35 Million In Federal COVID-19 Relief Coming To Aid Of New Jersey Bars, Restaurants
City officials who are confirmed to testify on March 30 are:
District Attorney Larry Krasner – District Attorney’s Office
Commissioner Danielle Outlaw – Philadelphia Police Department (invited)
Dr. Jessica Beard, MD, MPH, FACS – Assistant Professor, Surgery (Division of Trauma & Surgical Critical Care), Temple University;
Marla Davis Bellamy JD, MGA –Director of Philadelphia CeaseFire; Director of Civic Engagement at the Center for Bioethics, Urban Health and Policy at the Katz School of Medicine, Temple University;
Aleida Garcia – Co-founder, National Homicide Justice Alliance;
Shondell Revell – Executive Director, Office of Violence Prevention
Erica Atwood – Director, Office of Policy and Strategic Initiatives for Criminal Justice & Public Safety
George D. Mosee, Jr. – Executive Director, Philadelphia Anti-Drug/Anti-Violence Network, Inc. (PAAN)
Pastor Carl Day – President/Founder, Culture Changing Christians
John Solomon – Founder, Endangered Kind
The hearing began at 10 a.m. and is expected to run throughout the day with a break between 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. Members of the public also scheduled to testify about the issue of gun violence and recommend solutions to the problem during the afternoon portion of the hearing.
The Special Committee is expected to continue to hold regular hearings on crime and violence issues impacting Philadelphia in 2021.
As of March 28, 117 people have been victims of homicides in Philadelphia so far this year, a 29% increase compared to this same time last year. A total of 499 people were killed in Philadelphia in 2020.
Stay with CBSPhilly.com for updates to this developing story.
For a list of gun violence resources in Philadelphia, click here.