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Philly Police Request Budget Increase of $55.7 Million 

Police said the increase is needed to deal with a staffing shortage as well as inflation and contractually obligated pay raises.

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The Philadelphia Police Department requested $855 million during their 2024 budget hearing proposal on Tuesday, a $55.7 million increase from this year. 

Police said the five percent increase factors in inflation as well as contractually obligated pay raises. 

First Deputy Commissioner John Stanford gave the budget testimony to Philadelphia's City Council on behalf of Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw who remains out of the office as she recovers from back injuries she suffered during a car accident last month. 

The proposed budget would fund 6,380 uniformed officers and aim to fix the understaffing issue. The department is currently down about 850 officers. 

“To be quite blunt, some of the issues and challenges that our men and women face every day, makes it a little bit of a challenge to entice more people to come into this profession,” Stanford said. 

Police said the budget would also allocate money toward recruitment with a focus on diversity. 

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“Jobs that we cannot fill, for, great example, crime scene unit,” Mike Garvey, the Director of PPD Forensic Science, said. “It normally has about 32 people across those scenes. As of the end of last year, we were down to about 15. Half of the unit.” 

The city’s continued gun violence and how to reduce it were major topics of discussion during Tuesday’s hearing. 

“There are more shootings but not just that there are more shootings. People are shooting more,” Garvey said. “So what we’re seeing is a lot more fire cartridge cases than what we previously had.” 

As of Monday night, there were 116 reported homicides in Philadelphia so far this year, down ten percent from the same time last year. 

Police said the budget would also fund a plan for community-oriented and intelligence-led policing, which would include 3,671 body cameras for all 21 patrol districts in Philadelphia. 

Tuesday’s meeting was one of several public hearings on the city’s proposed Fiscal 2023-24 budget following Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney’s reveal of his proposed $6.1 billion city budget on March 2. The virtual hearings began on March 28 and will end on May 3.

The hearings feature testimonies from various Philadelphia department heads and other public officials. 

Documents and video links for all of the budget hearings and testimonies can be found here. 

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