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St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office // CC BY-SA 4.0

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney announced in a press conference on Nov. 6 that he will appropriate $5 million for gun violence prevention and to help local communities impacted by gun violence.

The appropriation of funds is part of Kenney's larger crime reduction strategy that will involve targeting high-risk individuals, such as repeat offenders and drug dealers, in hot spots across Philadelphia. 

The $5 million comes in addition to another $4.4 million approved earlier this year to implement gun violence prevention initiatives in neighborhoods with the highest levels of gun violence.

The city will also increase funding for rapid response outreach teams to provide trauma support and neighborhood improvements in the aftermath of violence. 

In the past year, there have been 301 homicides in Philadelphia, a seven percent increase from this time last year. Kenney said gun violence will continue to be a problem in the city until lawmakers at the state and national levels limit the availability of assault weapons. 

“We can continue to educate, to invest in education, to invest in prevention, to invest in police, to invest in all of the things we invest in, but as long as the legislature and the U.S. Congress allows these guns in our society we’re swimming upstream,” Kenney said in the press conference, his first after winning re-election. 

Kenney was re-elected to a second term as mayor by a landslide victory on Nov. 5, winning over 80 percent of the votes against Republican candidate Billy Ciancaglini.