Most crime rates down in Philly, but police commissioner says safety issues remain

 Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross (left) and  Council President Darrell Clarke speak before a Tuesday budget hearing. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross (left) and Council President Darrell Clarke speak before a Tuesday budget hearing. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Philadelphia’s police department is not asking City Council for much more money. 

Police Commissioner Richard Ross has asked a $1 million increase to his department’s $650 million budget.

“We continue to use intelligence and innovative strategies aimed at making this a safer city,” Ross testified during a Tuesday budget hearing. “Last year, 39 major cities reported increases in homicides and other major crimes.”

In Philadelphia, he said, major crimes were down to levels not seen since the ’70s.  

Ross spoke about gun violence, but said targeting firearms traffickers isn’t the issue it once was.

“The days of people pulling up with trunkloads full of guns, they don’t have to do that in Philadelphia, they are already there,” he said.

The guns used by criminals in Philadelphia are often lost or stolen, said Ross, but owners neglect to  report the firearms missing.

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