SIXTY MORE people kept their lives in Philadelphia this year than last - 60 fewer families left grieving, 60 fewer bodies to be buried and 60 fewer homicides to solve.
But for Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, the 15 percent homicide reduction - the steepest decline in a decade - down from 392 in 2007 to 332 this year, isn't enough.
"We're not satisfied," he said. "We'll never be satisfied."
Ramsey and Mayor Nutter released year-end crime statistics at a news conference yesterday, citing also the 11 percent decline in shooting victims, down from 1,703 in 2007 to 1,513 this year.
Neither the homicide rate nor the shooting-victim rate reached the goals that the men had set this year when they called for a 25 percent drop in homicides and a 20 percent decline in gunshot victims.
Nutter called the homicide decline the "first down payment" on his pledge to reduce that tally by a minimum of 30 percent by 2010. Ramsey said that even if they'd met the 25 percent goal, he wouldn't have been satisfied with 292 people dead in Philadelphia.
"It's just nowhere near acceptable for the residents of this great city to have this many people murdered on the streets," he said.
Under the previous administration of Mayor John F. Street, homicides dropped just 3 percent between 2006 and 2007.
This year, the biggest causes for homicides were arguments and retaliation, Ramsey said.
According to department statistics, police are solving more of the slayings that do occur, with a homicide-clearance rate of 74 percent this year, up from 59 percent in 2007.
The news conference was held at the 18th District, in Southwest Philadelphia, one of nine districts targeted for increased enforcement under Ramsey's crime-fighting plan.
In those nine districts, homicides were down 28 percent and shootings were down 17 percent. The 18th District alone saw homicides decline from 25 in 2007 to just seven this year, Nutter said.
He attributed the declines in part to a return to community policing and "aggressive but constitutional" stop-and-frisks.
Pedestrian stops rose from nearly 127,000 last year to more than 200,000 this year, according to police statistics.
"I want them looking over their shoulder every time they step foot on concrete if they're one of the bad guys," Ramsey said.
Nutter said that only 220 of those pedestrians stopped had filed complaints with the Police Advisory Board, and that just 15 of those complaints were found "worthy of review."
Nutter said that his "ambitious plans" to hire 400 new officers this year were cut in half, due to the budget crisis, but he noted that 330 more officers were moved from special units to patrol duty.
He also said that a pledge to install 250 surveillance cameras was severely cut because the city refused to accept inferior equipment. The city currently has only 71 cameras installed and monitored, with the testing of 20 more in progress.
Ramsey said that it was a "very, very" difficult year for the department, losing five officers in 14 months - four of whom were killed within a five-month span.
"In my 40 years of policing I have not seen this many officers lose their lives in the line of duty in this short period of time," he said.
Ramsey said that his goals for next year include driving the homicide rate under 300, bringing down property crime - which had a 1 percent uptick this year - and continued emphasis on community policing.
"It will be a challenge, but we will not back away under any circumstances," Nutter said.