City leaders unveil new 'Blueprint for a Safer Philadelphia'

Philadelphia city leaders put a focus on safety in the city on the same day that the city’s homicide count hit another grim milestone.

Democratic Philadelphia City Councilmember Curtis Jones was joined by Mayor-elect Cherelle Parker, District Attorney Larry Krasner and other city leaders last month to lay out the so-called Blueprint for a Safer Philadelphia.

“All of the ingredients that can be found in this book still needs a good baker,” Jones said. "It's not a finished document."

Some of the recommendations -- stemming from a brainstorming session -- include reducing the school-to-prison pipeline, having better policing on the ground and a new crime lab.

"I am so accustomed to seeing people get into a room and -- do what you describe -- demonstrate what experts they are at articulating the problems associated with public safety in the City of Philadelphia," Parker said. "But never propering solutions that we -- in an intergovernmental collaborative way -- can employ the use of to make our city safer."

Focus on safety as city hits grim homicide milestone

This marks the fourth year in a row the city has seen 400 plus homicides. But this year marks the first significant sign of progress since before the COVID pandemic -- killings in Philadelphia down about 20% year over year.

It’s a similar trend as to what's being seen in other big cities too.  But 400 murders is still well above what we've usually seen over the years, according to Philadelphia police crime data.

City leaders believe more can be done -- hence the more than 140 recommendations laid out in the new blueprint.

Included would be police officers who understand the neighborhoods they’re working in, something the city’s new police commissioner is focused on. And, a hope that a revamped crime lab can help solve more violent incidents.

DA Krasner said the city is making progress in reducing murders, but more needs to be done.

"Lets be real about this, we are still in a tragic situation, we hit 400 homicides today," the two-term Democratic DA said.

"Two truths: the one truth, which is that we are still dealing with a tragedy, but the other truth, which is that we are making real progress."

There are additional resources for people or communities that have endured gun violence in Philadelphia. Further information can be found here.

From NBC10 Philadelphia