City leaders believe new police initiatives are weakening trend of deadly violence in Philadelphia

Despite deadly gun violence remaining prevalent in Philadelphia, city leaders believe new police initiatives are helping weaken the trend of violent crime. 

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney was joined by Commissioner Danielle Outlaw and a host of police officials on Tuesday for a press conference on efforts being made to reduce gun violence. 

The meeting comes less than 24 hours after Philadelphia reached 500 homicides for the second straight year, a figure which Mayor Kenney called "unconscionable" and "senseless." 

"I never stop thinking about the victims and their families and the incredible void that their loss leaves behind so many people," Kenney said. 


Despite the grim milestone, homicides in Philadelphia are currently trending downward by 7% following a historically bloody 2021 in which 562 people were murdered in the city. 

"While overall homicides of Philadelphia are on track to decline roughly 7% from last year, we must do more and we will do more," Kenney said. 

City officials believe new police initiatives are helping them combat the scourge of gun violence, which Kenney said accounts for nearly 90% of all murders. 

The Philadelphia Police Department's newly created Shooting Investigation Group (SIG) handles non-fatal shootings and works closely with the homicide unit to share information. 

Authorities believe this collaboration has helped the department's clearance rate for non-fatal and deadly shootings to jump by roughly 4% this year. 

Commissioner Outlaw said the department has added over 150 police officers to its force this year and it's reconfiguring its ‘Operation Pinpoint’ grid to boost presence in high-crime areas. 

The department is deploying as many as 100 new police officers to work on the ground in four specific districts that account for 43% of the city's gun violence. 

"We not only expect visibility but we want people out of their cars out and engaging, we want officer connecting with those neighborhoods," Outlaw said.