Pa. AG and Philly police tout arrests, gun and cash seizures in West Philly

Pa. AG Josh Shapiro and members of the PPD shared preliminary results of a six month partnership of the OAG Strategic Response Team working with West Philadelphia police districts. (Shapiro / twitter)

Pa. AG Josh Shapiro and members of the PPD shared preliminary results of a six month partnership of the OAG Strategic Response Team working with West Philadelphia police districts. (Shapiro / twitter)

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said Monday that his office has charged 65  people and seized $82,000, along with 41 weapons, in West Philadelphia over the past six months as part of a new anti-crime collaboration with the Philadelphia Police Department.

Amid the worst gun violence seen in the city for three decades, the AG’s office partnered with the PPD’s Intelligence Unit, as well as the 18th and 19th Police Districts in West Philadelphia, to experiment with a targeted enforcement effort modeled after a program in Kensington.

Shapiro announced the results with neighbors on the 5400 block of Addison Street, a rowhouse block near the 18th police district headquarters.

“Each one of these guns is a driver of illegal activity and violent crime in our community,” he said.

Those arrested face charges ranging from conspiracy to illegal gun possession and drug violations, the AG’s office said. The office declined to offer more details.

A spokesperson highlighted the fruits of several search warrants executed on South Salford Street and North 62nd Street that together netted about a half-dozen arrests, nine illegal weapons — including a small flamethrower — $37,000 and a little over one ounce of marijuana.

Police officials highlighted the collaborative nature of the anti-crime initiative.

“This is the latest example of the awesome work being done with collaboration between our state, local, and federal law enforcement,” PPD Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said. “We are all working towards the same goal.”

The show of unity comes amid finger-pointing over a murder rate that remains 17% higher than this time last year. Notably, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner was not present during the Monday press conference, and has clashed with Shapiro in the past over jurisdictional issues.

However, local Democratic elected officials, like state Sen. Anthony H. Williams, were also on hand. Shapiro is widely expected to declare his candidacy for the 2022 gubernatorial race.

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