The murder count in Philadelphia totaled 248 for 2014, just one body higher than 2013’s historic low, according to end-of-year crime statistics released by the Philadelphia Police Department Friday.
Thefts also rose, up 0.6 percent, for an additional 239 reported thefts.
“Everything else is showing a decline,” Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said in a press conference at Police headquarters today. “I think we’re doing well with our Smart Policing project, which is very data driven.”
The total number of shooting victims in 2014 was down 7.2 percent, falling to 1,047 from 1,128 in 2013, a drop of 34 and a half percent from 2007.
The number of police-involved fatal shootings was also down, from 11 in 2013 to four in 2014, police said.
“Even though we’re up one up, at least we did not go dramatically up,” Ramsey said of the murder count. “We’re nowhere near what this city has seen for decades, when 400 was the number before anybody began to really panic.”
Philadelphia can eventually cut its murder count to below 200 a year, Ramsey said.
Ramsey credited the drops to the department’s tactics, including assigning foot patrols to areas where violence is reported, collaborating with community leaders, and assigning additional resources to any area where crime reports are on the increase.
Reported rapes dropped 8.4 percent to 1,172 from 2013’s 1,279.
To combat overdoses of heroin and other opiates, Ramsey said the department will give officers in areas with high numbers of overdoses the nasal spray Narcan, which can reverse the effects of potentially fatal doses.