Philadelphia Mayor Declares Public Safety Emergency

January 4, 2024

… I just want to see a sense of urgency, a much more collaborative effort.

Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker on her first executive order as mayor declaring a Public Safety Emergency to address crime citywide. Ater her inauguration on Tuesday, Parker became Philadelphia’s 100th Mayor and the first woman to serve in the office.

Why It Matters: Parker’s order is part of her 100-Day Action Plan announced after her inauguration, and directs Philadelphia’s new Police Commissioner, along with other leaders, to develop a comprehensive strategy, using every available resource, to combat and prevent crimein the city (the United States’ sixth largest city by population). The new plans are to include strategies to increase police officers in Philadelphia as well as looking “at ways to reduce violent crimes and combat property and quality-of-life offenses …” (6 ABC). In her inaugural address on Tuesday, Parker said, “We are going to expeditiously get every available resource into neighborhoods struggling from scourges of crime, gun violence, drugs, and addiction.” Her order “remains in effect for 100 days, after which Parker could choose to extend it” (Philadelphia Inquirer).

Context: While violent crimes (homicides, non-fatal shootings) have decreased in Philadelphia, “some property crimes have exploded,” local news station 6 ABC reports, adding, “Retail theft is up 28%, and reports of stolen vehicles were up 72%.”

Big Picture: Parker’s executive order on public safety is one of three she signed on her first day in office: the other two include “Making local government more visible, responsive, and effective in how it delivers services to citizens,” and “Expanding economic opportunity by removing barriers to city employment,” Parker explained via X (formerly known as Twitter).

Read More: Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker declares public safety emergency (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker pledges public safety focus, green initiatives at inauguration (CBS News Philadelphia)

by Leah Grainery, based in Texas