Police commissioner troubled by Philadelphia’s murder rate

In 2011, Philadelphia’s homicide rate crept back up.  At just over 300, the murder rate is the highest of the nation’s 10 largest cities. Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said in an interview too many people want someone to blame for the violence city neighborhoods experience.

“It’s not the educational system’s fault, it’s not an issue about jobs, it’s not about judges, prosecutors, police,” Ramsey said. “It’s about violent thugs who feel that they’ve got a license to kill.”While the year’s homicide tally is up slightly from last year, shootings fell more than 3 percent.  Ramsey chalked that up to criminals bent on killing.”We’re getting people shot multiple times, we’re getting people shot in the head at a higher rate than what we have had before,” Ramsey said. “So the intent to kill is there and we’ve got a lot of very violent people out there on the streets that need to be taken off the streets or they will kill again.”Ramsey said he’s dedicated to improving the police department’s murder clearance rate, which fell over the past year.  “The goal is to solve ’em all. I mean, if 60 percent is the best we could do, then I’ll live with that,” he said. “If it’s because we don’t have enough detectives, if it’s because were not getting enough information from the public or whatever, that should not be.”Many times, Ramsey said, police suspect they know who the killer is, but they need help from the community to build their cases.  

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