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Crime in Philly down, officer-involved shootings up

Critics want more details of the rise in shootings; while police defend the ever-changing statistics

By PoliceOne Staff

PHILADELPHIA — The  number of violent crimes and assaults on officers in Philadelphia last year fell as the number of suspects shot by police rose.

Philly police shot 52 suspects last year while responding to reported crimes — of which 15 suspects died, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Critics are asking why the numbers have risen to their highest point in 10 years.

Internal Affairs has rejected the Police Advisory Commission’s request to access information about the shootings.

“If it is higher, we need to know why,” said Kelvyn Anderson, of the Philadelphia’s Police Advisory Commission.  

In an interview last month, Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey said he saw no need to reevaluate the use of deadly force by Philly police.

“I think we have a solid policy and consider it best practice," he said. “The numbers fluctuate from year to year.”

Another thing to consider, Ramsey pointed out in the article, was that the number of suspects armed with guns while assaulting police had risen by one-third, despite the total number of assaults being down.

"We have a lot of people on the street with guns, a lot of people not afraid to use guns, and a lot of them are not afraid to assault a police officer," he said. 

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