PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — City and community leaders are hoping tens of millions of dollars in the new budget is the answer to solving Philadelphia’s gun violence epidemic. There have been at least 267 murders in just the first six months of 2021 in the city, up more than 70 from this time last year.
Some Philadelphia City Council members kept busy on this sweltering Monday outlining how a historic infusion of cash will bankroll gun violence prevention and anti-violence initiatives and programs. And yet, the killings on city streets have only accelerated at historic rates.READ MORE: Man Cleaning Gun, Shoots And Kills 22-Year-Old Girlfriend In Bustleton, Philadelphia Police Say
“We want to make sure that those dollars get to the groups effectively, efficiently and as quickly as possible because the blood is still rising in the streets,” one official said.
City Council on Thursday advanced a budget that includes tens of millions of dollars in hopes of reversing the city’s gun violence epidemic.
Sermon-like, Reverend Robert Collier of the Black Clergy of Philadelphia, railed outside City Hall.
“We will not be satisfied until Philadelphia is rid of this gun violence pandemic,” he said. “And it can be done if everybody works together, puts their heart and mind together. It can be done. It will be done. It must be done.”READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: Body Of Missing 26-Year-Old Casey Johnston Recovered, Officials Say
Council’s spending plan earmarks funding for healing investments and safe havens for youth and families.
There’s also money to address blight. A $20 million chunk will be targeted for use in community grant programs.
The city’s top prosecutor called out corporations and non-profits to contribute.
“We need our for-profit community, people who have done very well in this city, we need them to step up and match that request for $100 million,” District Attorney Larry Krasner said.MORE NEWS: Colts' Carson Wentz Choosing Rest, Rehab For Foot Injury, Remains Out Indefinitely
The City of Philadelphia will also set up a committee to review and assess these programs and how they are being received to determine if the money is being wisely spent.