Sunday’s Inquirer published a fascinating piece on Philly’s big murder drop–2013 is on track for 80 fewer murders than in 2012–featuring a few likely explanations why.
- Better hospital care: “According to figures from the Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation, Philadelphia emergency-room doctors seem to be saving more lives this year. In 2012, nearly 28 percent of gunshot victims died in the hospital. This year, the most recent figures suggest, only 20 percent have succumbed.”
- Hotspots: “Using crime mapping systems that break down crime by time and place, Fredericksdorf assigned two-person teams to each problem corner within the key areas….To show how the department drills down, Fredericksdorf pulled out an intelligence dossier previously assembled about the block where the man in the Marquis had been shot only minutes before. ”It’s page after page of the guys who hang out over there,” he said.”
- Focused Deterrence: “To build the effort, authorities pooled intelligence to identify 600 “impact players” – triggermen, major dealers, robbery teams – and prioritized them for enforcement, as well as social services. While crew members are offered job training and other alternatives to street life, if one member shoots, as Williams warned, the entire crew suffers: probation-violation hearings, stepped-up drug testing, higher bails, stiffer sentences, even crackdowns on unpaid utility bills.”
Shootings are also down 15%, and the city’s on track from 250 murders vs. 331 last year, Michael Nutter appears to be making good on his promise of five years ago to halve the city’s homicide rate. (It stood at 380 in 2007.)