The Daily News reports today that Philadelphia is on pace for fewer than 300 murders in 2013—a significant drop from 2012′s nearly-0ne-murder-a-day pace that was so punishing. The year-to-date murder count of 195 is 27 percent lower than last year at this time. If the pace holds, it would be the first time the city has had fewer than 100 killings since 2002.
“Historically, these last few months of the year are the months in which we really have to hold it down and make sure we finish the year strong,” Lt. John Stanford, a police spokesman, told the paper. “At any point in time, it can change.”
Police attribute the lowe murder rate to targeting high-violence areas for extra enforcement areas; District Attorney Seth Williams told the Philadelphia Tribune a couple of weeks ago that his office was more aggressively taking violent offenders off the street by revoking bail for gun offenders who have more than one open case.
“We know that violent crime is committed by a very small percentage of the population, the worst of the worst,” Williams said. ”Under this model we are doing everything we can to figure out who those worst of the worst are, identify them, prosecute them and keep them in jail. Guns and violent offenders – those are the two things that drive the murder rate and terrorize communities.”