Police Shootings Down in Philly

UnknownPolice gunfire ending in death is sharply down in Philadelphia  as a result of department efforts to reduce the use of lethal force.

At the end of last year, Philly.com reported a significant drop in police officer killings; from 16 in 2012 down to 4 last year. They attribute this to some significant internal changes by Police Commissioner Chuck Ramsey:

  • Crisis intervention training for all officers to de-escalate confrontations.
  • Conduct training that is “reality-based” in which officers confront unpredictable situations in using video-based role-playing.
  • Adding the term “sanctity of life” to their use of force policy.

Interestingly, this is what I have been preaching about — the importance for police to revisit policies, training, instrumentality, and attitudes surrounding their use of deadly force. It is important for police to be committed to preserving lives — to acknowledge and be committed to the “sanctity” of human life.

Here’s more on the Philadelphia story:

“So far in 2014, police officers have shot and killed four people. By the same date last year, they had killed 12. And in 2012 by this date, officers had killed 16…

“In spring 2013, Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey invited federal experts to examine the department’s practices as part of a “collaborative review.”

“The request came as a Philly.com news report documented a spike in police-involved shootings despite a citywide drop in crime. In 2012, 59 people were shot, 16 of them killed, the highest one-year tally in a decade.

“Philadelphia has paid more than $2.5 million in the last decade to settle dozens of lawsuits that resulted from shootings by police, records show…

“Already, 2,500 Philadelphia officers – more than a third of the force – have gone through crisis-intervention training designed to help them de-escalate confrontations before they erupt into violence, Ramsey has said.

“The department has also increased ‘reality-based’ training, in which officers confront unpredictable situations in video role-playing situations.

“Earlier this year, it upgraded its directive governing lethal force to add a ‘sanctity of life’ phrase attesting that the “application of deadly force is a measure to be employed only in the most extreme circumstances…”

Read the entire article HERE by Craig R. McCoy and Dylan Purcell which was posted on  December 17, 2014.