Monday, October 22, 2012

'We need to stop cherry-picking our outrage'

Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey enjoyed a 22 percent decrease in the homicide rate during his first two years in Philadelphia, before it spiked from 306 in 2010 to 324 last year. And with 274 homicides already this year, Philadelphia could end up averaging a killing a day, reported the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Why? Ramsey cites a loss of officers - down 200 since 2008, but contends it is more than that--guns are to blame as well.

He points to the glut of illegal guns--and the lack of political will--as the biggest reason. While Ramsey doesn't support a total ban, he's for commonsense guidelines.  He favors a ban on assault rifles to begin with.

Ramsey tells the Inquirer, "We need to stop cherry-picking our outrage. That's what we do; we cherry-pick our outrage."

"The Jesse Jacksons and Al Sharptons of the world will be in Philadelphia tomorrow if a cop shoots some kid, especially if it's a white cop and black kids," Ramsey fumes, "but where is the outrage when you have black-on-black crime that goes on constantly in these neighborhoods?"

Ramsey has pushed the department forward with rigorous officer training and is weeding out corrupt cops - more than 50 so far, according to the Inquirer.

Ramsey is a big advocate of community policing. Rookie cops are required to be on street patrol for at least six months before he puts them in cruisers. Ramsey told the Inquirer,  "I want them to understand that there are decent, law-abiding citizens living in the worst of neighborhoods. And you ain't never going to know that driving through a neighborhood in a Crown Vic, with the windows up and the radio on."

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