With the first few weeks of Operation Pressure Point now in the books, police officials are pointing to early signs of success.
The mega-law-enforcement effort floods the streets of Philadelphia with dozens of cops and federal agents from 4 p.m. on Fridays to 3 p.m. on Sundays because, police determined, that period of time was the deadliest in spring and summer last year.
They're hoping that a beefed-up police presence during that time — as well as an uptick in the serving of warrants and shuttering of nuisance bars — will lead to a safer city.
The early numbers suggest that progress is being made.
From the start of Pressure Point on April 10 through April 30, police said, weekend murders declined 52 percent citywide, to 10 victims, and shootings dropped 20 percent, to 40 victims.
During the same period last year, 21 people were slain on weekends and 50 were shot, police stats show.
More than 300 suspected criminals have been arrested during the initial phase of Pressure Point, law-enforcement officials said.
But long-term success of the program could be measured in how long those arrested stay behind bars.
To that end, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced yesterday that two accused criminals arrested by Pressure Point agents will face federal charges.
Donell Scarvers, who was arrested in South Philadelphia on April 28 and charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, could face 15 years to life in federal prison, authorities said.
James Langston, who was arrested in Nicetown on April 30, could face at least 10 years in federal prison on weapons charges.
The U.S. Attorney's Office said that another 42 suspects arrested last month as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, another law-enforcement effort, also face an array of stiff sentences.