In an already trying time, the residency requirement unnecessarily limits the police department’s recruitment efforts and, therefore, public safety.

Philadelphia is reeling from an unprecedented and unacceptable surge in murders. In the wake of record homicides last year, our city’s leaders continue to search for and implement measures to control the harrowing situation — all in the midst of a pandemic and racial justice reckoning. Adding to this storm, historic staffing shortages limit the Philadelphia Police Department’s options to address the violence.

Right now, our leaders can listen and respond by helping the Police Department sufficiently staff our police force by amending or repealing the mandatory one-year residency requirement for police recruits. The well-intentioned ordinance requires any applicant to reside in Philadelphia for at least one year prior to being hired.

Read Deputy Inspector General Adam Geer’s full Op-Ed for the Philadelphia Inquirer.