Time for Michael Nutter’s new crime plan

Commissioner Charles Ramsey.
RIKARD LARMA/METRO

Beset by a startling 31 murders in 25 days, Mayor Michael Nutter and city officials unveiled a plan yesterday to crack down on violent crime by going after the one thing in Philadelphia more prolific than potholes: illegal guns.

The main focus of Nutter’s approach is to push judges for at least two years of jail time for anybody convicted of carrying an illegal handgun. Those who help police recover an illegal handgun will also receive a $500 reward under the plan.

“Got a gun, go to jail. No more slaps on the wrist, no more falling through the cracks, no more walking away and thinking nothing’s going to happen,” Nutter said, surrounded by city and state lawmakers at Strawberry Mansion High School.

Normally those prosecuted in Philadelphia for carrying illegal guns are given probation. District Attorney Seth Williams said prosecutors would indeed ask for stiffer penalties and work with other law enforcement agencies to track the city’s most dangerous criminals.

Some gun-reform groups applauded the move.

“If there are no penalties for carrying an illegal gun, they won’t think twice before sticking one in their pants when they walk outside,” said Max Nacheman, executive director of CeaseFirePA, a statewide anti-gun violence advocacy organization.

“What we think is really exciting is you now have the mayor’s office, the D.A.’s office, the police department – they’re all committed. And now it’s up to judges to do their part and give penalties worthy of carrying an illegal gun in our city.”

Nutter said he’s talked with judges, but would not say whether there are on board with the plan. “They read the newspapers like everyone else,” he said.

For every murder, there’s a reward

For the first time ever, police will offer a reward for every murder conviction, which they hope will encourage community members to speak up.

“I think there are going to be some people who wouldn’t otherwise come forward. [But] I don’t think the flood gates are going to open,” said Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Ross.

In some cases, the reward will be as much as $20,000. A police spokesman yesterday could not say if there would be a minimum.

Last week, police arrested three people in connection to the beating death of a Temple University student in Old City after a $20,000 reward was posted.

Seven policies

There are seven main initiatives of the plan:

1. Seek jail time for those convicted of possessing illegal guns.
2. Double funding for the witness assistance fund.
3. Offer rewards of up to $20,000 for a murder arrest and conviction.
4. An anonymous text hotline for residents to contact police.
5. Monitor the movement of the city’s most violent criminals through the justice system.
6. Put about 100 more officers on the street.
7. Put more pressure on nuisance bars.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Gunther from 'Friends' talks Central Perk

We spoke with Gunther (James Michael Tyler) at the preview for new pop-up Central Perk, based on the cafe in "Friends."

Local

Central Perk opens in SoHo

Central Perk, of "Friends" fame, is giving out free coffee in SoHo through Oct. 18.

National

Beer sponsor Anheuser-Busch reproaches NFL over domestic abuse

Anheuser-Busch chastised the NFL for its handling of domestic violence cases, making it the first major advertiser to put pressure on the league.

Local

Sen. Krueger dishes on prospect of legal marijuana…

New Yorkers may see the legalization of recreational marijuana use as early as 2015 if State Senator Liz Krueger (D) gets her way. The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act will…

Music

FREEMAN makes Freeman a free man from Ween

For nearly 30 years, Aaron Freeman was known endearingly to his listeners as Gene Ween. But with "FREEMAN," he makes it clear that he's gone somewhere else.

Television

'Outlander' recap: Season 1, Episode 6: 'The Garrison…

Whipping, punching, kicking and a marriage contract. "Outlander" is not for the faint of heart this week with "The Garrison Commander."

The Word

The Word: Hey girl, it's a girl for…

It's a girl for Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes, who reportedly welcomed a daughter last Friday, according to Us Weekly. The super-private couple managed to…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 16: 'New Girl,'…

Check out the season premiere of "New Girl," as Jess competes with Jessica Biel for a guy's attentions.

MLB

5 top contenders for NL Rookie of the…

The outing rekindled award talk for deGrom, who appears to hold the top spot for NL Rookie of the Year honors. Metro breaks down a few other contenders.

College

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Broncos No. 1, Seahawks slip,…

NFL Power Rankings: Broncos No. 1, Seahawks slip, Eagles, Bills, Patriots climb. The Cardinals, Bills, Chargers and Packers are also featured in the top 10.

NFL

Tom Coughlin says Giants 'beat themselves' against Cardinals

Head coach Tom Coughlin, who had a day to cool off and reflect, still sounded like he had a gnawing feeling in his gut.

Wellbeing

Suicide study finds surprising link to sunshine

Scientists have found a link between sunlight and suicide rates — but not in the way you’d expect. As summer winds down, concern turns to…

Wellbeing

NYC's doctor-patient ratio is highest of any US…

Seeing a primary care physician is getting more difficult across the country, but new data shows just how bad the problem is — particularly in…

Parenting

Tech execs tend to limit their kids' screen…

You probably got your iPad before Bill Gates's kids did.

Wellbeing

Beverly Hills 'Housewives' star Kyle Richards gets real…

  In the upcoming fifth season of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” fans will see a more confident Kyle Richards. The actress started noticing…