Police, US Attorney’s Office Announce Federal Initiative To Combat Violence In City

Matt Petrillo reports.

Video Transcript

- A new crime initiative that joins federal law enforcement agencies with Philadelphia police was announced today. That patrols on independence mall with this new step to try to quell the city's gun violence epidemic. Matt.

- Yuki our areas top federal prosecutor today called the city's gun violence an epidemic now she is taking action

We came together. Now and decided we needed to do something.

- Acting US attorney, Jennifer Williams joined Philadelphia police commissioner Daniel outlaw, at a news conference Thursday. Just feet from Independence Hall an old city, to address the city's staggering murder rate.

- At this rate we are on pace to surpass 600 homicides this year in Philadelphia. That is shocking.

- The US attorney's office usually handles federal crimes like tax evasion. But it is now strategizing with the local leaders of more than a dozen federal agencies, like the FBI, and ATF. In conjunction with Philly police to together curb violence in the city.

- Beginning this month, the FBI is adding additional agents, who will focus on investigating crimes with the most serious impact on victims.

- Officials also released a joint letter, addressed to people who live and work in Philadelphia. It says in part, we know what the city needs. It needs all hands on deck to stop the violence. And that is what we are committed to provide.

- I've been asking for more and more consequences.

- Police commissioner, Daniel Outlaw stopped short of criticizing. District attorney, Larry Sanders handling of violent crime. But the commissioner points out the new partnership between City Police and federal law enforcement agencies is needed.

- Knowing that there is a serious consequence at the end of a violent crime will do. I think quite a bit to deter the violence that we've been seeing.

- And the Philadelphia district attorney's office says, that before the pandemic its conviction rate for shootings was at 85% higher, than in the early 2000s. With their full statement on our website. CBSPhili.com.

Live on independence mall. Matt Petrillo. CBS three Eyewitness News.