The grim statistics hardly do justice to the mounting toll of gun violence in our city: 562 lives lost last year and another roughly 1,800 people who were shot and survived.
In 2021, the city reached a bleak milestone in notching a record number of homicides. Now, the question city officials should be asking themselves is: How do we keep it from happening again in 2022?
Philadelphia is trying to do many things that broadly fall under the umbrella of gun violence prevention. In 2020, the city rebooted the anti-crime strategy known as focused deterrence in a program called Group Violence Intervention in an effort to engage would-be shooters. The Office of Violence Prevention continues to expand its street outreach program, and the city’s last budget committed $68 million in new anti-violence spending.
In January 2019, city officials released what they called “The Roadmap for Safer Communities.” Mayor Jim Kenney also holds a briefing on gun violence every other week, and both the Police Department and the District Attorney’s Office are all-too-eager to report that they are doing their jobs well — and that they have the data to prove it.
And yet, nearly 1,100 people have been killed in our city in the past two years…
At the same time, basic city services that can help reduce instances of gun violence — such as opening libraries and fixing street lights — aren’t being fulfilled.
— Philadelphia Inquirer in A new year requires a better plan to tackle gun violence crisis