Philly Council discussing expanding ‘Focused Deterrence’ strategy

 Philadelphia City Councilman Dennis O'Brien's bill to increase the capital funding to fix up police facilities has been delayed for at least a year. (WHYY file photo)

Philadelphia City Councilman Dennis O'Brien's bill to increase the capital funding to fix up police facilities has been delayed for at least a year. (WHYY file photo)

Philadelphia City Council members will meet today to hear about a crime-prevention program that’s showing good early results in South Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Councilman-At-Large Dennis O’Brien said he’s pleased with what a strategy called Focused Deterrence has accomplished and he wants to expand it.

“What we want to do is celebrate the success is Southwest Philly and we want to invite other communities in the city to create a new strategy of their own and that requires the creation of an Office of Violence Reduction where you have an Executive Director and it’s staffed appropriately and those people help communities design a strategy that’s best for their community,” O’Brien said.

The strategy gives members of gangs — or groups — the choice: keep shooting and risk a harsh crackdown by law enforcement, or stop and get help. Members who want out of the life can get assistance securing a job or getting their GED.

O’Brien said creating the new Office will help increase community buy-in and the sharing of best practices.

“Hopefully what we’re doing is block-by-block and community-by-community we’re building success where people are taking their neighborhood back,” he said.

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