Police Department progress report shows crime-fighting gains in the 14th and 39th districts

When Mayor Michael Nutter and Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey released a progress report of the department’s 2008 Crime Fighting Strategy initiative on Wednesday, both the 14th and 39th districts factored into the announcement.

Comparing this year to 2007, homicides are down 22 percent citywide, robberies 23 percent and total violent crime nearly 16 percent.

“We poured uniformed police resources into the police districts with the most crime and we assigned more officers to work during peak crime periods,” Nutter said. “We successfully experimented with the deployment of foot patrol and we worked closely with our local, state and federal partners to focus in on reducing violent crime.”

Both the 14th and the 39th were among nine “Top Crime Districts” to which officials paid specific attention. Collectively, they “accounted for 65 percent of the homicides, 64 percent of the shooting victims, 55 percent of the robbery victims and 59 percent of the aggravated assaults.”

Rev. LeRoi Simmons, of Germantown Clergy Initiative and several other community groups, said he’s noticed a difference in recent years. He attributes it to an “organized community effort” working along with city and school police.

“We highlighted the problems, like after-school on Germantown and Chelten, and they responded,” Simmons said. “It’s helped quite a bit.”

In the 14th – which covers Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy, Cedarbrook and parts of Germantown and West Oak Lane – violent crime was down about 12 percent and property crime more than 15 percent between 2007 and 2010

In the 39th – which consists of Germantown, East Falls, Nicetown/Tioga and parts of North Philadelphia – violent crime declined about 10 percent and property fell about six.

Using the 2007-2010 stats, the 14th District is the eighth most violent in the city while the 39th was tenth, the same positions they held in 2008. However, the 14th dropped from eighth to ninth place from 2008 to 2010; the 39th held steady.

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