Tuesday, September 8, 2020

P.C. Outlaw's New Crime Prevention Plan: 'Crime-Fighting Lite'

by Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

The critics' reviews are in on Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw's new 37-page crimefighting plan, and they're not good.

A police commissioner from another city who sought anonymity dubbed Outlaw's plan "Crime Fighting Lite." It's a "B- freshman sociology paper," he said, that "fails the citizens of Philadelphia miserably" because it "lacks the fortitude necessary to address the city's criminal element proactively."

Outlaw's plan was also panned by three former high-ranking police officials who talked to Big Trial. The only one of the four critics willing to go on the record was Lou Anemone, a retired chief of the New York Police Department. Back in the 1990s, Anemone was one of the architects of the NYPD's innovative CompStat strategy that was credited with driving down crime in New York to record lows.

Outlaw's plan, Anemone wrote in an email, is heavy on "catch phrases, platitudes, and buzz words," but doesn't "really hold anyone accountable for REDUCING HOMICIDES AND SHOOTINGS," which supposedly was the main goal.

"There's a lack of proactive crimefighting," Anemone explained in a follow-up interview. "Where's the nuts and bolts of it? Where's the beef? It's not laid out. It doesn't get to the heart of the problem."

Anemone also wondered aloud about who the plan's target audience was. "It's not the long-suffering cop out on the street or sitting in a patrol car," he said. "It's a wish list for people in the political class. It's target audience is not anybody who knows anything about policing."

CompStat, which has been replicated by police departments across the country, started out in New York as a program that tracked crime by simply sticking pins in a map. Then it graduated to computers.

CompStat was based on the since-abandoned but highly successful "broken windows" theory of policing that proved the way to reduce major crimes was to crack down on minor crimes. 

CompStat stressed timely and accurate intelligence on criminal activity, rapid deployment of troops, ongoing analysis to determine which tactics were the most effective in crime-fighting, and last of all, relentless follow-up by the cops.

In contrast, here in Philadelphia we have Outlaw's Crime prevention & violence reduction plan, released in June, and posted online. It received an enthusiastic review from Larry Platt, co-founder of The Philadelphia Citizen. Platt, a gifted self-promoter previously known for dropping his pants in the office, advocated putting extra money in the police budget to fund the Outlaw plan because it was supposedly "full of state-of-the- art reforms." 

There's no chance of that happening in an era of defunding the police. But here in Philadelphia, we do have a problem with violent crime. As of Sept. 7th:

-- The murder rate, which has been steadily rising for the past seven years, was up to 311 murders, a 33% increase over the same time last year when the city had 231 homicides.

-- Shooting victims this year are at,1,397, a 44% increase over the same time last year when the city had 973.

-- Shooting incidents are at 2,353, a 54% increase over last year when the city had 1,532. [shooting incidents are defined as incidents where nobody was hit but shots were fired at someone].

--Aggravated assault by firearms, 2,393 this year, a 36% increase over last year, when the city had 1,765.

[This year's murder count would even be higher except it does not include 111 dead bodies that the police have so far classified as "special assignments," which includes "suspicious" deaths.]

These are the problems that Outlaw's plan was supposed to address. In her plan, Outlaw explains that she's laying out a "progressive Crime Prevention and Violence Reduction strategy . . . based on research, thorough evaluation of current and past strategies, and input from internal and external stakeholders."

But how are we going to reduce crime? According to Outlaw, the plan is to "continue Operation Pinpoint Strategy," a derivative of CompStat, and "foster effective collaboration [with the community] to reduce violent crime."

How are we going to do that? By pursuing "organizational excellence," and crime prevention through "a collaborative problem solving approach driven by data, analysis, feedback and accountability." Outlaw advocates "strategic deployment of resources to arrest violent offenders and reduce the fear of crime in our neighborhoods."

She wants the cops to "work collaboratively with the community to develop the best policing policies specific for our department and the communities we serve." She wants to "break down the silos of information that too often impede the progress of community engagement and inclusion."

"Specific research will focus on LGBTQ, immigrant and newcomer groups," she said, "underserved communities or groups that have been reluctant to work with the PPD." She also wants to seek out "clergy and faith-based leaders to support community engagement strategies as well as to assist in developing violence reduction strategies."

Outlaw's plans for inclusion were panned by the P.C. from another city.

"Since she knows no one, it's easy to postulate in generalities how theoretical actions will curb crime, but she's just identified generational problems," said the P.C. from another city. "She's not stopping folks from dying at an incredibly accelerated rate."

"We can hug after the city is safe again," the P.C. said. "Residents want order  first. They want to be able "to allow their children out of their homes without fearing they won't return. Her solutions fails this generation of residents miserably. This is the type of sociological disconnect you get from leaders who are out of touch with their community."

The Outlaw plan does prominently feature buzz words such as collaboration, community stakeholders, and informational silos. But once again, how do we reduce violent crime? Aside from the theoretical, it's not mentioned. Instead, Outlaw provides a shallow analysis of crime in Philadelphia that could have been written by a high school or college student.

"Our data and analysis indicates that this violence has been a result of existing rivalries and feuds between gangs, groups or individuals with a track record of violent behavior, and is predominantly driven by disputes over drugs and personal conflicts," Outlaw wrote. "Regardless of the causes, these preventable acts of gun violence harm individuals, families and communities."

To combat crime, Outlaw says she's initiated "weekly shooting review meetings" of all shootings with police commanders, and our "local, state and federal partners" in law enforcement. That's on top of daily commander briefings on major incidents in the past 24 hours, as well as "quarterly call-in sessions" between the cops and community stakeholders to communicate "that the violence in the community will not be tolerated."

Outlaw then outlines her goals that include expanding the Operation Pinpoint program, and reducing homicides and shooting incidents in high-crime areas identified by Operation Pinpoint by 25 percent by the end of 2021.

She also wants to increase the homicide clearance rate to 65 percent by the end of 2021, and increase the non-fatal shooting victim clearance rate to 30 percent by the end of 2021.

Another former police commissioner described Outlaw's "glossy, cool-looking plan" complete with 12 pages of charts as "transparency and political correctness run amok."

"Obviously, it’s good to partner with the community and let them know what’s going on," he said. "But when the Eagles play the Giants, they don’t give them their playbook. This plan is telling the mostly good people of Philly what the PPD hopes to accomplish. It also tells the bad guys what may be coming for them."

"And the Eagles don’t tell their fans that they hope to score 35 points," the former P.C. wrote. "Because when they fall short, it looks like they failed."  

Sticking with the playbook analogy, the former P.C. complained that Outlaw's 37-page “book” was "too complicated" with "too many charts."

Anemone recalled the origins of the CompStat plan by Jack Maple, a legendary former transit cop who used to patrol Times Square. Maple produced a series of booklets that could fit in a cop's back pocket. The booklets outlined simple, clear-cut strategies for handling one particular type of crime, such as shootings, for example. Or stolen cars, robberies, domestic violence, etc. 

The emphasis was on what works and what doesn't work. 

 Another former high-ranking police official who reviewed Outlaw's plan said that its stated goals were "weird."

"What are they telling the people who get shot tomorrow?" he asked. "That's almost a year and a half away. Jack Maple would be turning over in his grave at such delays in murder and shooting reduction planning."

The former high-ranking police official dismissed the Outlaw plan as "quite a bit of fluff" that was bogged down by "a lot of academia gibberish."

"Who's advising her on this," he asked. 

Anemone questioned the "lack of nuts and bolts" in the plan about "boots on the ground." He wondered why the plan didn't look at deployment of police personnel, and whether the city needs more cops working nights and weekends, when shootings and murders usually occur.

I asked Anemone, who was a cop for 35 years, and a consultant for the past 20 years, what was the biggest missing ingredient from Outlaw's plan.

"One word," he replied. "Leadership."

"Apparently, you need leadership in the district attorney's office, you need leadership in the police department and you need leadership in the mayor's office," he said.

Oh boy. Where to start?

Our D.A. hates cops, doesn't care about crime victims, and sees the main function of his office as doing favors for criminals, whom he views as victims of a corrupt, racist society.

Our police commissioner is busy "collaborating" with our corrupt D.A., taking orders from our clueless mayor, and currently she's struggling to pass a sociology class.

And our mayor? When he isn't kneeling with protesters, or letting them out of jail, he's announcing to the squatters occupying the homeless encampments on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway exactly what time he's sending the cops in, as in 9 a.m. tomorrow, to clear the joint.

So that every left-wing nut in town can come down to block the streets, demonstrate, and use their cell phone cameras to record what the cops are up to.

This morning, leaflets being distributed in the Art Museum area described how residents could help their "unhoused neighbors" on the Parkway by attending a block party tonight "to show the city how much love and support the camp has." 

The leaflet described the camps inhabited by lawless squatters as "safe sanctuaries for the homeless in the middle of a pandemic." Forget about the stabbings, overdoses, rampant drug use and unsanitary conditions that have been plaguing those "cop-free" zones filled with trash.

Residents are also invited to show up at 7 a.m. tomorrow, two hours before the cops plan to clear the encampment, so they could "defend the encampments from being evicted by the city."

How's that going to be done? It could either be done "with your body," the leaflet advises. Or you could show up to "document/photograph/film ALL interactions with cops."

Congratulations, Mayor Kenney! You should draw a good crowd tomorrow down on the Parkway. Good thing you weren't planning D-Day. 

And if any cop looks too aggressive on camera, nobody has their back. Instead, they'll face the firing squad of Kenney, Krasner and Outlaw.

Leadership. 

In Philadelphia, we have none.

9 comments

  1. It's so obvious she is in over her head! She had her chance to drop kick KrAASner on Fox 29 and she didn't. Kenney Krasner and Outlaw the 3 kissing Amigos!!! Hopefully Kenney goes down with Doc. Hey Kenney!!! Still deleting Text messages? Took Late!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. ACCOUNTABILITY.......it is for every single person working in public service, including Kenney, Krasner and Outlaw.

    Incidentally, we now have a Chief Integrity Officer, Sarah Stevenson, who in 2010 approved a 55% discount on a PWD HELP loan for a citizen and a her supervisor, senior deputy city solicitor, Daniel Cantu Hertzler, informed me in writing that the city has NO legal and financial liability and responsibility for the expenses in failed sewer laterals. Not to worry, Cantu Hertzler was the inaugural winner of the city's Integrity Award in 2015.

    Where to turn when the Chief Integrity Officer fails to respond to and investigate serious, genuine, fact based allegations of ethics and integrity violations?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Philadelphia City Government is an inoperable cancer. It must be flushed down the crapper and rebuilt from scratch, with an emended city charter protecting these leeches-for-life crooked politicians.

      Delete
  3. If it doesnt work out the PC can say it was all Dennis Wilson's idea.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Violent crime in Philadelphia, including homicides, can be reduced significantly and quality of life can be restored in every city neighborhood. Current leaders either don't want to do it or simply don't know how. In 2008, I was transferred from Major Crimes to the 18th District. As a veteran captain, I had a plan and worked with great officers and supervisors to put it into motion. In 2007, there were 27 murders in the 18th. By Dec. 31st of the following year, there were only 7, and overall violent crime, including non-fatal shootings and robberies, dropped by 33%. In fact, our team was recognized by local and national media for this during a press conference at 55th & Pine streets, because the results were unprecedented. Most importantly, we did it for the law-abiding citizens in that community who deserved safety for themselves and their loved ones. It was done 12 years ago and it can be done now.

    ReplyDelete
  5. That's what happens when you hire someone based solely on their race and gender

    ReplyDelete
  6. Interesting comments from all but one stands out and that is the input of a street cop in New York who developed a series of tools to increase the sucess of fighting crime in the city. How many street cops working in the high crime areas of Philadelphia were consulted for their opinions in how to implement new stragities to fight just what they deal with every day. Grandious plans written by sociologists who work with theories and words should alsow listen to the front line officers who just may have a New York state of mind.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Contemporary Affirmative Action is how we tax-paying, law-abiding Philadelphia citizens end up with something like this person calling itself Danielle Outlaw. How else could this person be made Top Cop in our once fine city? Respectfully, she doesn't even seem to be an actual police officer, but merely a little girl wearing a uniform. Heaven help us.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Why does no one see that everything Outlaw says is all fluff? It’s all lip service and it sounds good to the majority of the people that have no clue about law enforcement. Nothing is getting done at all. There’s nothing. She keeps using these “big, shiny, expensive words” to cater to these politicians and clueless civilians of the city. It’s all fraudulent.

    ReplyDelete

Thoughtful commentary welcome. Trolling, harassing, and defaming not welcome. Consistent with 47 U.S.C. 230, we have the right to delete without warning any comments we believe are obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected.