In her first hours on the job, Cherelle Parker, the new mayor of Philadelphia, has outlined a platform that prioritizes addressing crime and improving law enforcement.
On Parker’s first day in office, she declared, in an executive order, a state of emergency on crime. Parker declared a citywide public safety emergency, directing the Police Department to develop comprehensive plans to address crime across the city.
This action is no surprise given Parker’s election platform, built on her commitment to tackling the pressing issue of crime and public safety.
This executive order calls for a report from the police commissioner within 30 days outlining a plan to reduce crime levels. The mayor’s supporters will undoubtedly view the executive action as highlighting her commitment to prioritizing public safety and firmly demonstrating her intent to tackle the challenges promptly and proactively.
Parker’s planned response to gun violence includes a focus on more policing and the reintroduction of stop-and-frisk. Before the election, Parker expressed the need for a high-quality law enforcement leader who could change the culture of the police department, emphasizing the importance of reform, empowering good officers, and standing up to the police union.
Parker has been supportive of law enforcement, indicating a willingness to consider controversial practices and change tactics.
The mayor’s platform is aimed at striking a balance between empowering the police to do their job and addressing the concerns of the community.
Through the declaration of a public safety emergency and the stress on the importance of comprehensive plans for crime prevention, Parker has indicated a prominent emphasis on law enforcement and community safety as central elements of her agenda. The executive order serves as a guide for her governance approach and initiates a sequence of measures designed to enhance public safety.
The best-case scenario is that the mayor’s emphasis on reducing crime and improving public safety would shift in the Philadelphia Police Department’s operational strategy toward a more proactive and community-oriented approach.
Civil rights groups have raised concerns about excessive policing and its effect on certain communities. The reintroduction of stop-and-frisk, a controversial practice known for its disproportionate effect on minority communities, has raised red flags.
After her election, Parker hinted at increasing police presence and potentially relaxing employment requirements. However, the potential of increasing police presence and relaxing employment requirements has sparked concerns about the risk of over-policing and the need to ensure that law enforcement practices are conducted to respect civil rights and avoid discriminatory outcomes.
Civil rights groups have historically emphasized the need for effective monitoring and accountability mechanisms to address police misconduct and ensure that law enforcement practices are in line with civil rights standards. Parker’s order is likely to amplify the concerns, emphasizing the need to balance public safety measures and safeguarding civil rights while promoting equitable and community-centered policing practices.