Making our city safer will be my top priority as mayor. My plan to reduce crime contains both short-term and long-term solutions. Some of my first year, short-term goals include:
Hiring 200 new police officers toward an overall goal of 1,000;
Creating an Office of Public Safety and staffing it with a deputy mayor;
Improving school safety through individual school safety plans and the presence of Philadelphia police officers;
Bringing officers back to our neighborhoods, walking the beat;
Creating a 311 call system with an anonymous crime tip capacity;
Expanding our security camera network; and
Taking an aggressive stance against drug houses through the Police Department, the Department of License and Inspections, and any other city department that can make a difference.
New officers on the ground will have an immediate impact. My new deputy mayor for public safety will be in a position to maximize available law-enforcement resources, serve as the face of our overall crime strategy, and serve as a coordinator for other law-enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the police departments of SEPTA, the University of Pennsylvania, and Philadelphia Housing Authority. Upgrades in police technology, such as ShotSpotter, which pinpoints the locations of fired shots in real time, will enable our police to do a better job.
Beyond these short-term measures, I have the most robust plan to attack the root causes of crime by expanding economic opportunity, cutting the recidivism rate, and curbing drug use. New York City did not become the safest big city in America overnight, and neither can Philadelphia. However, through a combination of effective short- and long-term measures that balance aggressive tactics with the rights of our community members, we can, and will, reclaim our neighborhoods.