Cherelle Parker declares public safety emergency in Philadelphia

The new mayor announced her 100-day plan following her inauguration on Tuesday, which includes the emergency declaration.

The declaration directs city officials to create a plan within 100 days to reduce crime, hire more officers and reduce “quality-of-life” offenses. | ROBERT JOSEPH CRUZ / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Hours after her inauguration on Tuesday, Mayor Cherelle Parker declared a citywide public safety emergency, calling on the Philadelphia Police Department to develop a plan to address crime in the city, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

The declaration, included in an executive order signed by Parker, directs new Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel, Philadelphia’s managing director Adam Thiel and other city officials to create a plan within 100 days to reduce crime, hire more officers and reduce “quality-of-life” offenses, the Inquirer reported.

The public safety emergency, which Parker had emphasized in her campaign platform, was part of Parker’s “100-Day Action Plan” which the new mayor announced following her inauguration. In addition to safety, the plan also includes addressing housing issues, reforming education and strengthening economic opportunity.

Parker has been a proponent of tough-on-crime policing tactics throughout her mayoral campaign. The former City Council majority leader emphasized the importance of addressing citywide police shortages during a mayoral debate at the Temple Performing Arts Center on April 11, 2023. 

Temple University Police Department has faced recruitment and retention challenges amid a national shortage but is actively attempting to increase its force. The university has also begun implementing from recommendations an April 2023 audit of the Department of Public Safety’s operations and procedures.

Parker also supports stop-and-frisk, a controversial policing tactic allowing police officers to stop, interrogate and search people based on reasonable suspicion, as a tool for curbing citywide gun violence. If elected, Parker would have zero tolerance for misuse or abuse of authority when conducting searches, she said at the April debate.

The public safety emergency declaration was one of three executive orders signed by Parker on Tuesday. She also signed an order that will make the city government “more visible, responsible, and effective in how it delivers services to citizens and constituents,” and another that will remove requirements for a college degree as a prerequisite for city employment, NBC10 reported.

Parker was elected as Philadelphia’s next mayor on Nov. 7 after defeating Republican challenger David Oh. She is the first woman to hold the position in the city’s history.

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