February 7, 2012
By Jerry Ratcliffe The recent increase in seemingly random violence across Philadelphia has many commentators calling for action - in some cases drastic and misguided action (including one call for a response by the National Guard). The city's residents are right to be concerned, but this is not the time for knee-jerk reactions and short-term crackdowns. This is the time for a discussion about policing, crime prevention, and the city's dysfunctional criminal justice system. Violent crimes are committed for a variety of reasons; money, sex, status, thrills, and anger all contribute to the death toll.
January 18, 2012 |
This year began bloody and deadly, 20 murders by Martin Luther King Day, only 16 days into 2012. Along with improving education, crime reduction is one of Mayor Nutter's core missions for his second term. "When those spikes hit, we're going to acknowledge, 'Yep, we have a problem.' We're not going to walk away from the people. We can't be dissuaded that when crime spikes it will remain that way," said Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Everett Gillison, Nutter's point man on crime.
May 29, 2011 |
Sunday is Day 75 of the NFL lockout. If you don't care or you forgot about it because you're having fun Down the Shore or you're busy living life, that apparently makes you a terrible person. It might even mean you're anti-American or a terrorist or a thug looking to rob an unsuspecting rube. You might think that's madness. I think it's madness, too. There are people, however, who evidently believe it, and some of them have even managed to say it on camera with a straight face or write it down without adding, Nah, just kidding, that's madness.
September 22, 2010 |
Standing between an art gallery and a fledgling restaurant, a new storefront has come to Northern Liberties - the district attorney's first crime-fighting office. The city's chief prosecutor, Seth Williams, unveiled it Tuesday to a small crowd at the Piazza at Schmidts. Inside the Community Action Center, one of several Williams hopes to open, prosecutors and police officers will work with residents to dampen crime before it can explode. "Government can't solve all the problems," said Williams, standing by a door draped with yellow ribbon along with Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey, City Councilman Frank DiCicco, and developer Bart Blatstein.
April 28, 2010 |
Nearly 99 percent of the Camden police budget is devoted to salaries, leaving little left over for the tools of the law-enforcement trade. So Mayor Dana L. Redd and Police Chief Scott Thomson joined several Camden business leaders Tuesday to announce an initiative that allows individuals and companies to make tax-deductible contributions to the Police Department. The new nonprofit Camden Police Foundation, online at camdenpolicefoundation.org and begun with more than $50,000 in donations from a handful of companies, is similar to educational foundations, which have raised money for school districts for years.
February 19, 2009 |
Crime has always been bad for the economy. It requires taxes to pay for extra police, jail space, and court costs; it leads to medical expenses and loss of work for victims; it scares away shoppers and raises insurance premiums for local businesses; it hurts property values and depresses rents; and it forces companies to spend money on private security measures. During the current economic downturn, Philadelphia should engage in strategic crime-prevention planning as part of its effort to save public money and stimulate the economy.
September 11, 2007 |
I'M A WALKER. I've walked from Manayunk to the Art Museum, the length of South Street river to river, and from 49th Street in West Philly to City Hall. I walk because I don't like waiting for the bus, because I don't always feel like paying for a cab, and because I like the rhythm and the air. Mostly, I walk because I like to observe the world. I like to see. Being able to walk around is one of the reasons I love Philadelphia, why I decided I could live here three years ago when walking my sister's dog, and why I prefer it over Baltimore and the other places I've been.
June 5, 2007 |
Our jails are full, and the social and economic cost of incarceration is enormous. The Pennsylvania General Assembly is now considering Gov. Rendell's proposed budget, which includes a $75 million investment in prekindergarten for 11,000 at-risk children 3 and 4 years of age. Funding would be awarded through competitive grants to high-quality preschool programs in school districts, Head Start, child-care centers, and nursery schools. Programs throughout the state would be eligible to apply, with priority to those serving children at risk of educational failure.
February 27, 2005 |
In Camden, a crime-infused city where a violent drug trade props up the economy of many impoverished neighborhoods, a special subset of criminal exists. State Attorney General Peter C. Harvey calls them the hard-core "knuckleheads" and places their number around 175. They are the young men deeply embedded in the drug culture, and they drive much of the city's crime while spinning through the court's revolving door. And they are just as likely to commit a murder as they are to die a violent death.
December 26, 2004 |
Widener University's new program in Exton for senior citizens was the brainchild of Ida Snyder, 91. Snyder, of Paoli, approached the university earlier this year with an idea to relieve the boredom that many seniors feel. "Not everyone over the age of 50 wants to watch television all day and play bingo twice a week," she said. She proposed offering academic courses "both attended and instructed by my peers. " Administrators at the university, whose main campus is in Chester, did some research and found a wide audience of well-educated retirees in Philadelphia's western suburbs.