Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter is outlining his policing plan for a second term. Most observers assume Nutter will win re-election this fall.
Mayor Michael Nutter says the safety of Philadelphia residents has improved greatly since the arrival of Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey four years ago but he wants to improve more.
“We are on our way,” said Nutter. “We’ve had success but it’s not enough. We want much more for all Philadelphians, because a safe city is a city that is healthy, it’s productive and it’s prosperous.”
Police Commissioner Ramsey says homicides are down by more than 20 percent since 2007 and other crimes are following suit. He says there is one thing police cannot control.
“The problem’s with the idiots that continue to come out there and commit crime, they’re the bad guys, it ain’t the system,” said Ramsey. “Why would you get locked up 30 40 times? If you got caught 30 or forty times that means you probably did it three or four hundred times. Give me a break there are some folks who just shouldn’t be part of our society.”
Mayor Nutter says it’s a struggle to make the whole city safer given fiscal constraints.
“Let me point out the daily fight against crime and the fundamental reform in the department are coming at a time when there are fewer police officers and less overtime resources than we could have ever imagined than when Police Commissioner Ramsey took over this police department,” said Nutter.
The commissioner says he is controlling costs.
“We’ve been able to maintain within our budget, we’ve done a lot of things. I have $554 million budget 97 percent goes into salaries, but during this time we’ve been able to implement this we actually cut our over overtime budget over the last three years by $17 million by better management controls of our overtime expenditures,” said Ramsey.
The plan calls for upgrading district buildings and technical equipment.