A public safety emergency has been declared in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia’s newly inaugurated Mayor Cherelle Parker signed the executive order declaring a “Public Safety Emergency” on Tuesday (January 2), which was her first full day in office. The declaration was signed just moments after Mayor Parker was publicly sworn in as the city's 100th mayor. It is part of her plans for her first 100 days in office.

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NBC Philadelphia via YouTube
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Parker says the city has experienced an “unprecedented rise in violent crime, in property and quality-of-life crimes."

“An underlying problem is a serious shortage of police officers, made worse by inefficiencies in recruiting and onboarding,” the mayor’s office says. “The city grapples with a feeling of insecurity in too many neighborhoods.”

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Today’s declaration of a Public Safety Emergency is the first step aimed at increasing the number of police officers on the streets via community policing, they say.

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"Officers there as guardians and not warriors, getting to know the people they are sworn to protect and serve," Parker said on Tuesday.

They plan to tackle some of the biggest safety issues facing the city of Philadelphia —including gun violence, drugs, addiction, car theft, and shoplifting. Additionally, Parker says the city will tackle the insanely annoying use of illegal ATVs. 

 

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The mayor has charged the city’s new police Commissioner, Kevin Bethel, with developing “a near-term plan to address both property and quality-of-life crimes, such as car theft, shoplifting, and illegal ATV use.”

One of the other focuses of the public safety initiative will be to clean up the large open-air drug market in the city’s Kensington neighborhood.

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"If somebody tells you 'We think she lacks compassion because she wants to be too aggressive in cleaning up the open-air drug market,' you tell them to think about whether or not they would want their mother, father, sister, brother, loved one on the streets openly using intravenous drugs," Parker said on Tuesday.

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