The second day of the hearings was tense as City Council pushed representatives from the city’s Office of Violence Prevention for answers.
Created in 2018, OVP launched the Roadmap to Safer Communities in January 2019 to curb violence with a $10 million budget, but the number of shootings deaths kept ticking up. And councilmembers weren’t satisfied when OVP representatives didn’t have data on hand.
“I don’t have any number as to how much we’re spending, I don’t have any numbers as to how much we’re helping, I don’t have any impact numbers. So it just feels like we’re spending money,” said one councilmember.
The Office of Probation and Parole chief Darlene Miller testified that while her officers spent part of the time working remotely, they are supervising over 30,000 individuals.
“Officers are maintaining contact with clients via phone calls, emails, texts and videos,” Miller said.
Kevin Bethel, head of school safety, said the city needs a unified message.
“We really need to appreciate and create conversations focusing on the gun,” Bethel said.
That conversation was started today when 16 members of City Council sent a letter to the Philadelphia ATF office.
A number of community groups also gave testimony hoping this time, the killing stops.