Philly Swaps Squad Cars for Foot Patrols

Philadelphia's police force has increased the proportion of police on foot in its most violent neighborhoods. Not everyone likes the new presence, but the change has has achieved remarkable reductions in violent crime.
Rhys Asplundh / Flickr

"Philadelphia’s foot-patrol strategy was developed after a study in 2009 by criminologists from Temple University, which is in the 22nd district. A randomised trial overturned the conventional view that foot patrols make locals like the police more and fear crime less, but do not actually reduce crime. In targeted areas, violent crime decreased by 23%," explains The Economist

"Such patrols work best if officers return to the same street several times in each shift, says Jerry Ratcliffe, director of Temple’s Centre for Security and Crime Science. A good officer will soon know everybody on his beat. It is important to 'spend time just standing on a street corner, chatting to people, getting a feel for the tempo and rhythm of a place.' Foot patrols work best in dense neighbourhoods, says Mr. Ratcliffe, where many people cannot afford air conditioning and so socialise on the street. Drunken disagreements beget violence. 'Half the people shot in Philadelphia are shot within two blocks of their address,' he says."

Full Story: Boots on the street


Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

The Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs is the only comprehensive ranking and listing of graduate urban planning programs available.
Starting at $24.95

Stay thirsty, urbanists

These sturdy water bottles are eco-friendly and perfect for urbanists on the go.
Wood necklace with city map

City Necklaces

These sweet pendants are engraved on a cedar charm with a mini map of selected cities. The perfect gift for friends and family or yourself!