Recent Posts

Recent Comments


Cop Land

« | Main | »

What’s Wrong With The PPD?

By Wyatt Earp | November 27, 2006

You wouldn’t think that a current member of the Philadelphia Police Department would be ripping them on a blog, but after some of the decisions made by the administration, I had to speak out.

Recently, Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson announced the creation of yet another special unit within the department: The Gang Control Unit. Sounds like a good idea, right? Wrong.

You see, the current number of patrol officers in the city varies depending upon who is speaking. The administration says there are more than enough officers to answer your basic 911 calls. The street cops disagree. The city is losing more officers than they can replace due to the DROP Program (an early retirement incentive enacted a few years ago), and since the city refuses to hire new officers, this unsettling trend will continue.

What does this have to do with the creation of another special unit, you ask? Well, simply stated, these special units have to be manned by current patrol officers, who are taken from the street, and away from your basic service calls. The result is less officers on the street, and less officers that will respond when you (or they) need help in an emergency. To give you an idea, here is a list of the current special units within the PPD:

Traffic, Highway Patrol, AID, Neighborhood Services, Narcotics Intelligence, Narcotics Strike Force, Narcotics Field Unit 1 & 2, Narcotics Field Unit South, Narcotics Task Force, Narcotics Intelligence, Juvenile Criminal Intelligence, Civil Affairs Unit, Conflict & Prevention Unit, S.I.T.E., Criminal Intelligence Unit, Homeland Security Unit, City Wide Vice, Organized Crime Intelligence.

For those who have lost count, that is a total of 19; including seven narcotics units. In fairness, the GCU will combine Organized Crime Intelligence, Narcotics Intelligence, and Juvenile Criminal Intelligence into one unit.

In the meantime, however, street supervisors are struggling to find officers to fill their patrol cars. The commissioner will tell the media that these officers will be placed into high-crime areas, and that is true. He will also tell you that these officers will answer the radio, and handle the usual calls that are given to patrol. That, unfortunately, is a subject that is highly debated.

The newly formed S.I.T.E. Unit was created with the same expectations as the GCU, but many S.I.T.E. officers answer only radio calls of the highest priority; that is, of course, when they aren’t doing whatever suits them at the moment. Despite what the administration will tell you, manpower is adversely affected by these patrol losses. The people who truly suffer are the citizens of Philadelphia, who will now wait even longer for an officer to respond to their emergency call.

Unless the current administration changes its current course, the manpower in these special units will soon outnumber the manpower of patrol – the backbone of any police department. That is simply unacceptable.

Topics: Uncategorized | Comments Off

Comments are closed.