City, state leaders address surging violence in Philadelphia

The region’s top law enforcement officials faced stiff questioning Tuesday as they announced a regional and federal partnership, to run over three years, in order to battle violent crime.

The effort, called the National Public Safety Partnership, will bring technical support, expertise and grants to the city, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Jennifer Arbitter Williams remarked.

The gathering of the region’s leadership in the battle against violence offered reporters an opportunity to ask questions on the surge of violence in Philadelphia.

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Pressed on Philadelphia’s growing murder rate, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw admitted investigators are solving too few murders adding, "We recognize that our clearance rates are fairly low, lower than what we’d want them to be. We recognize higher clearance rates would serve as a deterrent."

506 homicides were recorded in the city as of Monday night. Acting U.S. Attorney Williams said, "It will take a multi-pronged, determined approach by all the individuals standing here with me."

Attorney General Josh Shapiro, an announced Democrat candidate for governor, argued for stiffer laws regulating untraceable ghost guns. He complained state lawmakers have resisted his efforts to do just that. Robert Listenbee, the second in command in the office of Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, said they’re holding people linked to gun violence responsible by asking for what he called "bail at a million dollars a pop."

When pressed on whether the three-year partnership is too long, the acting U.S. Attorney argued, "We’re not waiting, we’re starting today."

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