Expect more police presence soon

April 28, 2008 8:58:23 PM PDT
Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey tells Action News to expect big changes in the next week or so. "I had a meeting today with the Mayor and we talked extensively about it. Plans that we were going to implement in June will probably get implement a little earlier," Ramsey said.

Commissioner Ramsey is working on fighting a rising tide of violence in the city. Five people were murdered in Philadelphia on Sunday. Seven people were murdered the weekend before that. Commissioner Ramsey said he has been looking at ways to get more manpower out on the streets, to help fight crime. He has decided to move the 135 members of the Narcotics Strike Force, to the command of the Patrol Bureau.

"I don't need specialists, I need generalists. They'll still do some narcotics work but they'll also be working on robberies, they'll be getting guns off the streets, they'll be working with burglaries, they're going to be fighting crime in general," Ramsey said.

Ramsey has already reassigned 49 members of a special unit known as S.I.T.E., and he says he's likely to disband other units in the days to come. Ramsey is also looking at ways to engage residents in the fight against crime.

Tonight, he paid a visit to members of the Hispanic community.

Raul Serrano is with the Community Policy Advisory Committee. "I think the community needs to get involved and this is a big issue, there is a crisis in Philadelphia right now and the Police need the community to get involved," Serrano said.

One member of the community certainly got involved over the weekend. Mike Bryson, a 48-year-old postal worker, helped catch 24-year-old David DiPrimo, after DiPrimo allegedly shot four people at a South Philadelphia sports bar on Sunday. Bryson chased down DiPrimo, and exchanged words, at gunpoint.

"He said, 'My father's an FBI agent!' I said, 'My brothers a cop, then stop and we'll talk about it'. And at that point, he clicked it twice at me and I said, 'Nah, wrong answer,'" Bryson said.

DiPrimo allegedly tried to shoot Bryson, but was out of bullets. Bryson wrestled DiPrimo to the ground, and held him until police arrived, and put him under arrest.

DiPrimo is held tonight on $1.2 million bond.