Philadelphia Inquirer — Philly Doesn’t Need to Reinvent the Wheel to Reduce Homicides | Opinion

Every single time my children walk out the door of our Olney home, I pray that they make it back in.

by Felicia Parker-Cox
Opinion — For The Philadelphia Inquirer
September 7, 2021

I am a Philadelphian, born and raised, who unapologetically loves this city in all its glory and ailments. I am a wife and mother of an 18-year-old son and a 13-year-old daughter. I pray every single time they walk out the door of our Olney home that they make it back in.

I often wonder, how did we get here — ending August with 357 homicides, on track to be our deadliest year recorded for shooting deaths? I wonder if the outrage and call to action would be different if 350 Philadelphians were killed in a mass shooting — if someone or some group shot 350 people at a local school, or a disgruntled worker killed 350 employees in a downtown office building. Would the response from our leaders, the outrage, the compassion for victims’ families, be different? I think so. I believe city leadership understands that 350 homicides in under a year is a crisis and deserves attention. They are trying to address it. But we all know where the road of good intentions leads to, and there still remains some complacency.

Other cities, like New York and Oakland, Calif., have been where we are today but made improvements. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel. A report published last year by John Jay College of Criminal Justice’s Research and Evaluation Center, authored by a diverse group of academic consultants, lays out a framework for action I believe we can apply in Philadelphia.

Here’s how I see Philly adapting their seven-part framework to our city…

[ read the article ]

Families prepare to board the bus for a three-day retreat for Philadelphia children impacted by gun violence, in the parking lot of the Franklin Mills Mall last month.JESSICA GRIFFIN / Staff Photographer

Felicia Parker-Cox is a district director in the U.S. House of Representatives and committeewoman in the 61st Ward/1st Division.