PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- As Center City businesses rebound from the pandemic, incidents like the shooting and lockdown at Fashion District Tuesday night have the Philadelphia Police Department stepping up patrols.
"This coming weekend all officers will have their tours extended by four hours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday," said Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw at Wednesday's bi-weekly crime update.
In response to eight murders from Friday night to Monday morning, the department is bolstering its number of on-duty officers to stem the violence.
"As I've said time and time again, this isn't sustainable long term," said Outlaw.
The need for police presence outside business hubs like Fashion District is evident.
"We have noticed an increase of juveniles hanging out downtown," says Deputy Commissioner Joel Dales.
On Tuesday night, there was a shooting inside the mall after a fight among teens, but no one was hurt.
The district attorney's office says 18-year-old Samir Smith has been charged with aggravated assault, illegally carrying a gun and conspiracy.
"We'll be sending more officers there as well because we're seeing issues in those zones," said Dales.
It comes at a time when empty storefronts are starting to rebound in Center City and office workers are coming back.
Douglas Green of MSC, a retail estate firm, says Walnut Street is seeing a post-pandemic boom.
"We are seeing unprecedented transactions and demand," said Green. "Foot traffic, eyes on the street, pedestrians on the street is probably the single best thing that we've seen combat crime."
But it's not all good news. Robberies and commercial burglaries in Center City are up this year -- 23% and 31% respectively.
Doggie Style Pets at 17th and Spruce streets was broken into Sunday night, as was the restaurant across the street.
"Someone threw a rock through our door and took both the registers. That's the second time a month that we've been robbed," says Marissa Kelland who works at the groomer and pet store.
Police say 72 new officers are graduating on Friday and some of them will be assigned to the districts tasked with keeping Center City safe.