Our Administration, in partnership with all our local and federal law enforcement agencies and community groups on the ground, continues to work tirelessly to address gun violence and create safer communities. A central priority of our response has been coordination and collaboration that happens at every level–from leadership to front-line staff, but we know we have not yet turned the corner on reducing these preventable and premature deaths of Philadelphians.
We continue to be focused on working together, with all law enforcement and public safety agencies, to do so. One life lost to gun violence is too many. We will continue to work with our criminal justice and community-based partners to address this challenge, save lives, and protect communities in every corner of Philadelphia.
As we close out 2022, we’re sharing some updates on our work to reduce Philadelphia’s gun violence.
Launched a 24-hour violence prevention hotline
The Kenney Administration and City Council, in partnership with United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey (UWGPSNJ) and 211 Southeastern Pennsylvania (SEPA) launched a 24-hour Violence Prevention Hotline in March 2022.
By dialing “2-1-1”, callers can access resources and services related to gun violence prevention for themselves and their neighborhoods. The hotline provides real-time support to people at-risk of engaging in violence or who are in neighborhoods experiencing high rates of gun violence. These supports are available 24-hours a day, seven days a week, and are available via phone call, text, email, or website chat.
Hosted a community listening tour about gun violence
Office of Policy and Strategic Initiatives for Criminal Justice and Public Safety (CJPS) hosted a community listening tour throughout 2022, as part of the promotion of our City’s Roadmap to Safer Communities, the City’s public health approach to gun violence in Philadelphia.
CJPS hosted roughly 30 meetings in 2022 and visited neighborhoods throughout the city. They connected with hundreds of Philadelphians this past year, listened to their concerns, and heard their ideas for what works in their communities and what doesn’t when it comes to gun violence prevention.
CJPS will continue to host community meetings throughout 2023 to keep Philadelphians close to the resources and information they need most.
Reached a historic agreement to expand the use of civilians in some roles within the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD)
On November 15, 2022, the City of Philadelphia announced a historic arbitration award between the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and the City that allows the City to expand its use of civilians in some roles within the Philadelphia Police Department. This landmark change will support public safety by allowing for the redeployment of uniformed resources to areas of need.
This is a critical step in the Kenney Administration’s focus on reducing violence and aligns with Commissioner Danielle Outlaw’s commitment to organizational excellence and a Police Department operating at peak performance to support public safety operations.
Funded 15 agencies supporting criminal justice reform work
This year, CJPS was granted $2.275 million in funding by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation as part of their Safety and Justice Challenge to advance criminal justice reform and racial equity in our legal system.
Using this funding, the Office of Criminal Justice developed a Safety and Justice Challenge Microgrant Fund. The Fund aimed to support agencies that:
- Develop new and creative approaches to criminal justice reform in Philadelphia.
- Engage communities disproportionately impacted by the criminal justice system in the reform effort.
- Provide services to individuals who have been directly impacted by the criminal justice system.
- Are BIPOC-led organizations seeking general operating support.
The Office of Criminal Justice has funded 15 agencies at $15,000 each, for a total of $225,000 in distributed funds and is currently working with the cohort.
Increased clearance rates and arrest warrants for the Homicide Unit
The Philadelphia Police’s Homicide Unit increased its case clearance rate from 42.7 percent in 2021 to 47 percent as of December 4, 2022. The Homicide Unit also increased arrest warrants issued from 109 in 2021 to 1
14 as of December 4, 2022, despite a lower homicide count in 2022–down eight percent from last year as of December 6, 2022.
Created a Shooting Investigation Group
In February 2022 the Philadelphia Police Department announced the creation of the Shooting Investigation Group (SIG), which focuses exclusively on non-fatal shootings citywide.
SIG increased non-fatal shooting case clearances from 19 percent in 2021 to 23 percent as of December 15, 2022. Increased clearance rates and arrest warrants for the Homicide Unit
Evaluated and expanded the Community Crisis Intervention Program
This year, CJPS took major steps forward with our Community Crisis Intervention Program (CCIP). Independent consultant American Institutes for Research (AIR) completed the first phase of their two-phase evaluation of CCIP. The evaluation provided five unique recommendations, which CJPS is responding to. AIR is moving forward with the second phase of the recommendation, and we will have further updates in the new year.
In addition to CJPS’ existing partnership with the Philadelphia Anti-Drug/Anti-Violence Network (PAAN), they are contracted with two new providers to join CCIP. PAAN is one of Philadelphia’s leading non-profits addressing drug abuse and violence among our youth and families. With the leadership of their Executive Director, George Mosee, they have been a vital part of our efforts to address gun violence in Philadelphia. CCIP’s two new providers are the Institute for the Development of African American Youth (IDAAY) and Eddie’s House.
Continued funding community organizations focused on reducing gun violence through two grants programs
The City is committed to uplifting and partnering with community organizations doing the work of violence prevention in their neighborhoods. To do this, we invest in two grant programs: the Targeted Community Investment Grant program, or TCIG, and the Community Expansion Grant program, or CEG.
TCIG Funds community-based violence prevention programs and activities that improve public safety, increase opportunities for self-development and care, and build a stronger sense of community throughout neighborhoods most impacted by gun violence.
TCIG is currently wrapping up its fifth cohort of grantees this month and will reopen for Cohort 6 applications in March.
The CEG program was part of a historic $22 million investment into violence prevention by the Kenney Administration and City Council. CEG provides grants ranging from $100,000 to $1,000,000 to organizations with an operating budget below $15,000,000 and a proven track record in their communities.
CEG is closing its first year of implementation at the end of this month and had its final grantee meeting this past Friday. Applications for new rounds of funding will open in 2023.
Invested in enhancing forensic science efforts
This year, PPD implemented a new training program for new forensic scientist trainees and allocated $25 million over 5 years to forensic lab enhancements. PPD also launched a dedicated gun violence DNA program to expand DNA collection and analysis.
Continued work with the National Public Safety Partnership
In October 2021, the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) was selected to participate in the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) National Public Safety Partnership (PSP). As part of this partnership, PPD has begun to receive intensive training and technical assistance from the DOJ in the areas of:
- Gun violence.
- Criminal justice collaboration.
- Constitutional policing.
- Community engagement.
- Federal partnerships.
- Crime analysis.
- Technology to identify, assess, and implement collaborative strategies and a lasting coordination structure to prevent and combat violent crime, especially related to gun, drug, and gang violence.
The National Public Safety Partnership supports the DOJ’s commitment to advancing work that promotes civil rights, increases access to justice, supports crime victims, protects the public from crime and evolving threats, and builds trust between law enforcement and the community.
Expanded the PPD Mobility Project
The PPD Mobility Project deploys secure, Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) compliant, mobile phones to officers, detectives, and supervisors.
The original pilot program showed promising results from three patrol districts and select investigative units in increased violent crime clearance rates, arrest rates from investigative stops, and officer-community information sharing. Currently, over 1,400 smartphones have been deployed as of December 9, 2022. The project is currently being expanded city-wide.
Continued building capacity to respond to mental health crisis-related calls
Crisis counselors received over 600 calls from 911 call-takers, supported Police Radio staff in handling callers in active crisis, and coordinated connections to treatment, resources and referrals for such callers.
The PPD also created the Behavioral Health Unit, which is composed of an expanded Crisis Intervention Response Team (CIRT) and Police Assisted Diversion (PAD). CIRT has two Crisis Intervention Team officers and a behavioral health clinician focusing on citywide behavioral health crisis calls. PAD officers assist individuals experiencing mental health crisis and/or addiction while redirecting them to alternate resources