The Philadelphia city budget has passed with a total of $155 million alloted to work against gun violence and $22.3 million towards police reform.
The Philadelphia City Council passed the $5.2 billion 2022 budget in late June, which largely aims to target the social, psychological, and economic roots of crime. $1.3 million is being allocated to Group Violence Intervention and Community Crisis Intervention Program programs, $125,000 to the Office of Violence Prevention, and $3.5 million to transitional jobs programs and the Office of Workforce Development, according to the city government’s website. Likewise, $13.3 million is provided for 911 operators, co-responders, and mobile crisis centers.
The budget also sought to address criminal justice reform with funds including $14 million for a plan to equip police with tasers and $2.1 million to operate the Citizens Police Oversight Commission.
Additionally, the budget prioritizes affordable housing and job training in Philadelphia. $400 million will go towards the city’s Neighborhood Preservation Initiative to finance home and rental construction, home repair grants, and provide aid to disabled homeowners. The money likewise will be used for job training and apprenticeships for construction workers.
In response to economic hardship from the pandemic, $10 million is being allocated to Philadelphia’s Poverty Action Fund, a city partnership with the nonprofit United Way. The program aims to lift 100,000 Philadelphia residents out of poverty within the next five years.
Both national and Philadelphia-specific data indicate a rise in violent crime in the past year and a half despite an overall trend of decreasing crime over the past three decades, NBC Philadelphia reported. The fall in crime has occurred as America has grown older, as technology has enabled surgical, data-driven crime prevention strategies, and as DNA evidence has dramatically improved the chances of apprehending perpetrators, according to The Economist.
The recent convulsions COVID-19 and protests over policing coincided with the increase in violent crime, NBC Philadelphia reported.