PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - They’re called the Mobile Field Force, an elite group of officers who hit the streets of Philadelphia each night trying to curb the violence and crackdown on crime.
"Mobile Field Force is designed to saturate high crime areas that are experiencing an increase in violent crime," Mobile Field Force Lt. Joseph Waters told FOX 29.
Only FOX 29 was along for the ride Monday night as two squads of officers headed out to their carefully determined patrol grids across the city.
"We do our best to pick the best officers the police department has to offer. People who have a proven track record," Lt. Water said.
Patrolling in marked units, these officers can show up in a matter of minutes to a shooting or a homicide. Two weeks ago, they were quick to respond to the homicide of 23-year-old man at 12th and Dauphin. They spotted a getaway vehicle, nabbed the suspects and recovered the gun.
"Whether it's our presence we prevent a shooting or we respond to a shooting. Hopefully, we quickly make an apprehension, but more importantly we're there to save a life," Lt. Waters explained.
So far, this year the mobile field force has made 423 arrests and seized 16 illegal guns. They use department statistics, analytics and intelligence information to map out where to patrol.
"The mission here is we're being deployed in the areas where shootings and homicides are taking place. We're being put in areas where people are hurting one another. It's our jobs to stop those people from hurting one another," Lt. Waters said.
These officers are quick to save lives, too. They immediately utilize scoop and run to get victims to the hospital faster. The Mobile Field Force is made up of two officers selected from every district in the city. They work the streets during high crime time periods when violence is most likely to break out—they can also be redeployed in minutes.