Administration commits $70 million in increased funding over five years to reduce gun violence ​

PHILADELPHIA – The City of Philadelphia today released its 2021 update to the Philadelphia Roadmap to Safer Communities (Roadmap), a multi-year violence reduction strategy designed to create a safer, healthier and more just city.

In 2020, gun-related homicides represented 90 percent of all homicides in Philadelphia, and is the leading cause of death among young Black and Latino men. The Roadmap looks to reduce shootings by 30 percent citywide by the end of 2023.

To achieve this reduction, the 2021 Roadmap focuses on providing:

  1. Better opportunities and social services for individuals and quality of life services for communities highly at-risk.

  2. Swift and predictable consequences for those engaged in violence who do not want help.

  3. Stronger community engagement with tools to increase long-term resiliency.

The Administration proposes investing a total of $18.7 million of additional funding in FY22 on anti-violence efforts for a total of $35.5 million of investment. Over the life of the FY22-FY26 Five Year plan, this is an additional investment of $70 million.

In addition to building off the expansion of the Police Department’s Operation Pinpoint to 45 areas citywide, the Roadmap includes new investments for next fiscal year, such as:

  • $1.3 million increase to expand violence interruption programs like the Community Crisis Intervention Program and Group Violence Intervention strategy.

  • $2 million in transitional jobs programs to provide alternatives to violence.

  • $500,000 for expansion of Targeted Community Investment Grants for violence prevention programs run by community partners.

  • $1.35 million for community and environmental improvements including graffiti cleanup, vacant lot remediation, clean & seal efforts, and improved lighting and visibility in key neighborhoods.

These are evidence-based interventions that Philadelphia is committed to implementing with fidelity, and ensuring are evaluated or assessed. In addition to expanding on proven models, the City will address key gaps in our current strategy with stronger community engagement and expanded behavioral health crisis tools.

The City is making major investments in changes to how we respond to 911 calls to safely meet residents’ needs. The FY22 Budget includes a $13.2 million investment, scaling over the year, so that 911 callers citywide can receive help from a co-response team, or a mobile crisis team, if that’s what they need.

At the same time, the Kenney Administration is investing in short and long term prevention by:

  • Continuing in the FY22-FY26 Five Year Plan to make the largest City investments in education – School District of Philadelphia, Community Schools, PHLpreK, Out of School Time and Summer Jobs, Community College of Philadelphia — over $1.4 billion over the next five years.

  • Most urgently, preparing rollout of an ambitious and expanded series of Summer 2021 activities for children and youth throughout the city keeping them engaged and safe, and partnering with the School District to provide academic support for learning loss due to the pandemic. (More details about summer planning will be provided later this month.)

“As the pandemic raged last year, so did gun violence, here at home and in other cities across our country,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “As we deepen and scale the evidence-based programs for the highest at risk, we are continuing our largest investments in what we know will ultimately address the structural, root cause of violence—lack of education and opportunity.”

“For decades many of our own neighbors have not felt as though they have a say in the work designed to keep them safe,” said Erica Atwood, Senior Director for Criminal Justice and Public Safety who also serves as co-chair of the Roadmap. “These updated strategies make sure neighborhoods are treated like the great assets they are, with collaborative solutions found very close to the problems we are addressing.”

“One of the most important things to know about gun violence is that there is no single, easy solution,” said Dr. Ruth Abaya, Program Manager for the Health Department’s Injury Prevention Program. “We know that many things and situations in people’s lives lead them to a point where gun violence can happen. By viewing and responding to this crisis through a public health lens, we can identify and work to ameliorate those situations, stopping gun violence before it even happens.”

The updated Roadmap is led by the new Office of Policy and Strategic Initiatives for Criminal Justice and Public Safety (CJPS), which brings together the Office of Violence Prevention (OVP), Office of Criminal Justice (OCJ), Office of Reentry Partnerships (ORP) and Town Watch Integrated Services (TWIS) into a single unit.

The Philadelphia Roadmap to Safer Communities is a multi-agency response that coordinates public, private, nonprofit, and community partners to end gun violence. By delivering critical preventions and interventions, we can reduce shootings and gun-related homicide, and achieve its 4 key goals: (1) Connected and thriving young people; (2) Strong community engagement; (3) Coordinated city services, and; (4) Safe and healthy neighborhoods. Learn more at WEBSITE and follow the CJPS Cluster on Facebook and Instagram at @PhillyAlive215.