Philadelphia city leaders travel to Trenton for Violence Reduction Summit

In Trenton, deadly shootings are 62 percent lower this year compared to last year. There were also no deadly shootings for a 90-day period over the summer. 

Meanwhile, Philadelphia saw a record year of homicides and shootings in 2021. So far, there have been 430 homicides and 1,916 shootings in 2022.

Philly council members noted collaboration among agencies and departments working to reduce violent crime and increase community relationship building was a big underlying theme of the Trenton visit.


"It’s working here, so there’s no reason why we can’t do it in the City of Philadelphia. People need to work together and stop putting on that public face in front of the camera," said Council President Darrell Clarke. "Get in a room, right, figure out a way to like each other, just for the sake of the citizens of the City of Philadelphia, and make this work."

"If we have to twist and pull arms to have people be a part of the collaborative effort, sometimes that’s what we have to do to be able to push people to move in a certain direction," said Councilmember Isaiah Thomas.

Council members are also interested in using modern technology to reduce violent crimes, such as the ShotSpotter gunshot detection system.

"They use it in collaboration with their cameras and it is having an impact, a direct impact, on homicide clearance rates, homicide and shooting rates," said Council majority leader Curtis Jones, Jr. "We have to take that back to Philly and take a look at how we can implement it."

Part of the tour brought city leaders to the North Clinton Recreation Center which will soon reopen with brand new interiors and resources for youth in Trenton.

Lieutenant Alexis Durlacher said the Trenton Police Department is also looking at public safety as a public health problem.

"We’re kind of shifting the work into resiliency for kids with trauma instead of maybe not addressing some of the mental health stuff going on, in hopes of kind of breaking the cycle of violence," said Lt. Durlacher. "There are some people who might belong in jail, but people who are committing crimes because of a health problem, drug addiction things like that, you probably don’t belong in jail. You need treatment. So, diverting people who don’t belong in jail into programming is working."

Trenton’s Department of Recreation hired 300 youth between the ages of 14 to 18 for its summer meals program throughout city parks, which happens to coincide with the time when there were no deadly shootings reported.

Cierra Allen is the owner of the Queen’s Comb in Trenton and believes the jobs made a difference in public safety.

"I feel like it slowed down for a little bit in the summertime. We haven’t really had as much going on," said Allen. "They’ve been giving out jobs for summertime working at the park and things like that."

From Philadelphia, Council President Darrell Clarke, Council Majority Leader Curtis Jones Jr., Council Whip Mark Squilla, Council Deputy Whip Cindy Bass, Councilmember Isaiah Thomas and Councilmember Katherine Gilmore Richardson attended.

From Trenton, Mayor Reed Gusciora, Business Administrator Adam Cruz, Police Director Steve Wilson among other leaders were present.