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Philly's goal: 100 fewer murders a year

A "mobile force" of officers would extra shifts during the high-crime weekends or when violence spikes.

By Andrew Maykuth
Philadelphia Inquirer

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — Aiming for nearly 100 fewer homicides and a 20 percent cut in the violent crime rate in his first year, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey this morning unveiled his much-anticipated crime-fighting strategy, including plans to redeploy 200 new officers into uniformed patrol by May 1.

Philadelphia's new commissioner said he plans to disband the elite Strategic Intervention Tactical Enforcement team - the SITE unit, which was created in 2006 by former Commissioner Sylvester M. Johnson to flood violent areas at night. Ramsey said that the SITE unit had drained resources from regular patrols to the detriment of the local districts.

Ramsey instead plans to create a "mobile force" of officers who offer to work extra shifts during the high-crime summer weekends, when violent crime tends to spike.

The former Washington, D.C., police chief and Mayor Nutter unveiled the plans this morning to a closed session of the department's employees at the Wachovia Center, followed by a briefing for reporters.

Ramsey, who has held a series of town-hall meetings while assembling his report, has made no secret of his desire to shift more of the department's 6,600 officers into high-crime areas.

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