Cherelle Parker

Five things you may have missed from Cherelle Parker’s 100th-day announcements

The Parker administration began to offer some details on plans to address crime and gun violence

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel speaks at Russell Conwell Middle School in Northeast Philadelphia on Thursday, April 11, 2024.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel speaks at Russell Conwell Middle School in Northeast Philadelphia on Thursday, April 11, 2024. Harrison Cann

Cherelle Parker spent her 100th day as Mayor of Philadelphia much like her first day – but with some added stops on the schedule. 

Before speaking to a crowd of hundreds and further detailing her administration’s plans to address public safety, quality-of-life issues and more, Parker took a five-block stroll from the Market-Frankford Line station at Allegheny Avenue to her event at Russell Conwell Middle School. 

The tour through the city’s Kensington neighborhood preceded Parker laying out her vision for the area as part of her plans to address crime and gun violence in the city. On top of Parker’s tour and remarks, the administration and police department released more noteworthy items that may have been missed in the mix of all Thursday’s headlines. 

With that in mind, City & State has your in-depth recap from yesterday’s 100th-day events. 

Lofty crime reduction goals

What’s a 100th-day update without ambitious goals? The Parker administration and police department began to detail their plans for addressing crime and gun violence. Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel and his team released a 53-page report detailing how they plan to reduce violent crime despite having an understaffed police force. 

The plans include ambitious expectations for reducing shootings and retail theft. With police focusing on the 10 most violent police districts – areas the administration says accounted for 80% of shooting victims in 2023 – there are performance goals to reduce the number of homicides and shooting victims by 20%, back to pre-pandemic levels. There are also objectives to reduce stolen automobiles and retail theft by 50%, and to increase the homicide clearance rate to 60% and the non-fatal shooting clearance rate to 35%. These lofty goals come as violent crime in the city is dropping while retail theft is rising. So far this year, there has been a 34% reduction in homicides year-over-year, but a roughly 30% uptick in retail theft. There will also be a push to redefine and revamp the police department, including an initiative to assign 129 new officers to foot patrol by the end of June and establishing mobile “surge teams” to send an influx of officers to hot spots on the weekends. 

Kensington Community Revival plan

Deemed the Kensington Community Revival, or KCR, Parker’s plan for the neighborhood infamous for drug usage and tent-riddled sidewalks is to “permanently shut down all pervasive open-air drug markets.” While it doesn’t provide a firm timeline, it does lay out a five-phase plan to “remove” open-air drug use and narcotics sales and improve environmental and economic conditions in the Kensington Avenue corridor and surrounding areas. 

The plan will begin with an enforcement phase, where police will work with community partners to provide services and treatment to those experiencing addiction and housing issues. After the “warning and opportunity” phase, police will then begin making arrests for drug and quality-of-life crimes and “remove” drug users from the area. Once the areas are secure, according to the plan, police and community partners will work to implement “barricades or bike racks” to keep sidewalks and business corridors cleared. 

Ghost guns on the run

Parker unexpectedly revealed Thursday that Polymer80 and JSD Supply – two of America’s leading gun parts manufacturers – have agreed to temporarily halt sales of their products in Philadelphia and elsewhere in Pennsylvania. As part of the settlement between the manufacturers and the city, the companies are required to pay about $1.3 million to fund gun violence prevention efforts and to “halt all sales of ghost guns online and in stores for four years and in person at gun shows for two years in Philadelphia,” Parker said. 

Philadelphia’s lawsuit, which came amid a broader legal effort to restrict where manufacturers can market their assemble-at-home guns, sought to crack down on the untraceable, self-made weapons known as “ghost guns.” Parker said Polymer80 and JSD produced 90% of the ghost guns recovered in the city, adding that the city must “find a way to hold them accountable for their role in supplying the crime gun market and perpetuating gun violence.”

Clean and Green cabinet

A major part of Parker’s push to rid the city of its “Filthadelphia” moniker is the creation of the Office of Clean and Green Initiatives, led by Carlton Williams, the streets commissioner under former Mayor Jim Kenney. The Parker administration announced Thursday that the newly created office will partner with community organizations to “clean every block in Philadelphia” between June 3 and Aug. 26. The new office has also established its cabinet structure and is expected to hold its first leadership meeting this upcoming week, soon after Parker signs an executive order creating the cabinet. 

Sheriff land sales

As part of the Parker administration’s plans to create 30,000 units of “affordable luxury” housing, Parker announced that sheriff sales are set to resume in July. In another unexpected announcement Thursday, Parker said her administration reached an agreement with Sheriff Rochelle Bilal that will allow sheriff’s sales of seized properties for tax delinquency to resume for the first time in years. 

When making the announcement, Parker said that meeting the 30,000-unit goal, which will include the “building of new, preservation of existing, rental housing (and) multifamily housing,” won’t happen “unless we make good use of city-owned properties.”