New Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker takes aim at public safety in 1st executive order

Katherine Scott Image
Wednesday, January 3, 2024
Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker shares plan for public safety
New Philadelphia mayor signed several executive orders, including one that will declare a Public Safety Emergency to fight crime in the city.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia's new mayor, Cherelle Parker, was formally inaugurated into office Tuesday, marking a new era for the city. She's not only the city's 100th mayor but also the first woman to hold the job.

After officially taking the reins from former Mayor Jim Kenney shortly after midnight Monday, Parker vowed to hit the ground running.

Following her historic inauguration ceremony, Parker announced her 100-Day Action Plan.

One of her first orders of business was issuing an executive order, declaring that the current levels of crimes against persons and property in Philadelphia constitute a public safety emergency that the city must abate immediately.

"You've all heard It all starts with public safety. That's why my very first public order does declare that state of emergency here in the city," Parker said. "I am fully committed to ending the sense of lawlessness that has been so pervasive in our city and bringing back of order and lawfulness."

The order directs new Philadelphia Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel to work with new Managing Director Adam Thiel, as well as other leaders, to develop plans within 100 days that will address crime and quality of life issues across the city.

"We will pursue those who harm and traumatize our neighborhoods across the city," Bethel said.

The plans will include how to increase the number of police officers across the city, particularly those trained in community policing.

They will also look at ways to reduce violent crimes and combat property and quality-of-life offenses, such as the unlawful usage of ATVs and retail thefts. She also wants to shut down open-air drug markets, like those so pervasive in the city's Kensington section.

"There is a lot of work to be done. Mark my words, what you see here today is only the beginning," Parker said.

Bethel will report to her office within 30 days on the status of each mandate in the executive order.