'Very chilling': Commissioner Outlaw addresses gun violence, calls for community-driven response

After a holiday weekend plagued by gun violence, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw is speaking out.

Police say a total of 31 weekend shootings claimed the lives of seven people. Among the victims are a 15-year-old boy, and a six-year-old boy who's death police now say may have been the result of negligence.

FOX 29's Kelly Rule spoke with Commissioner Outlaw on Monday.

“It’s very chilling what’s been happening over the past few weeks,” Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw stated.

When asked what’s next in an interview Monday, Commissioner Outlaw said addressing the violence needs to be a continuous collaboration with local partners, like the District Attorney’s Office, to state and federal partners.

But, she says they have had challenges between the pandemic limiting how they can deploy resources safely and weeks of protests and rallies in the city.

“We’ve been shifting and shuffling our resources which might, in the end, decrease visibility in some areas where we’ve been more prominent, but we’ll get there. I think communication is key,” Commissioner Outlaw explained.

Tuesday morning, she spoke with Good Day Philadelphia about the recent violence, and her plan to curb that violence amid the coronavirus pandemic, protests, and calls to defund the police.

"It's very disheartening. There are a lot of factors we see contributing to these shootings. It's not solely a police response," Outlaw said of the recent surge in gun violence. "I believe that's why to fix this matter it's going to call for a community-driven response, as well as the city, as well as the administration, as well as social services, and quite frankly, a culture that's going to have to change around shootings and violence and tolerance and acceptance of the violence we've been seeing here in the city."

Late last month, Commissioner Outlaw released an action plan that promised to strengthen investigative measures involving violent crime through retooled collaboration within the city's law enforcement system.

"It's a plan that's actually far more comprehensive than just addressing violence or being reactionary to violence. It focuses on three pillars. Organizational excellence, all things that we do internally to make sure we're operating at our peak. It includes community engagement and inclusion because it also acknowledges that we cannot get ahead of violence, or prevent or reduce violence without making sure that our stakeholders, the people that we serve, are involved. And then, there's an operational side of it, which is the crime prevention and reduction piece. Some might consider that the core of the plan, but it really calls for strong local, state, and federal collaboration. It calls for community collaboration. It calls for us in law enforcement to get out of the silos that we've been working in," Outlaw said Tuesday.

You can watch more of Commissioner Outlaw's comments on Good Day Philadelphia in the video above.




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