Saturday, August 30, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Why are so many police dying?

Ben Waxman discusses the Daily News's 6 bold ideas with WHYY's Dave Heller.

Why are so many police dying?

Yesterday, the Philadelphia Daily News published a story that sought to answer why so many police officers are dying in the line of duty. There was one particular passage that caught my eye and I'm curious to know what readers think.

Ramsey and District Attorney Lynne Abraham blame lenient judges and bail commissioners. Some rank-and-file cops point to increased pressure to boost their arrest numbers. Armchair court observers give three reasons: Parolees released early from overcrowded prisons; the tens of thousands of criminals on the loose with active bench warrants, and a system that fails to rehabilitate offenders.

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Some cops, however, privately grumble that they're under unprecedented pressure to boost their "activity."

When Ramsey and Mayor Nutter took over earlier this year, both pledged to crack down on crime and try to stem murder and violent-crime rates that ballooned under their predecessors' tenure. They wanted a back-to-basics approach, transferring officers out of specialized units to general street patrols and urged cops to stop and frisk possible suspects to take the streets back from criminals.

Pedestrian stops swelled this year, with nearly 181,000 through Halloween, compared to 138,205 for all of last year. Car stops are on pace to at least match last year's total of 315,633, with more than 301,100 through Halloween, said Lt. Frank Vanore, a police spokesman.

Experts say because there are more stops, there are more pursuits, both on foot and in police cruisers, although those statistics aren't readily available.

Thoughts? You can read the entire article by clicking on this link.

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