Philadelphia police department changes modified arrest policy for non-violent offenders amid COVID-19 pandemic

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Friday, May 1, 2020

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Philadelphia Police Department said on Friday it is making changes to the arrest policy put in place amid the COVID-19 pandemic.[br /][br /]In a statement issued Friday, the department said suspects for several offenses will now be arrested and 'processed in the traditional manner.'[br /][Ads /][br /]Those offenses are:[br /][br /]-Burglary[br /]-Theft From Auto[br /]-Theft from Person[br /]-Stolen Auto[br /]-Retail Theft[br /][Ads /][br /]When the policy was first announced, officers were asked to use their discretion as to whether suspects should be taken into custody or released on a warrant to be served at a later date.[br /][br /]Since then, however, police say several things have changed including warmer weather, an increase in retail theft and an increase in burglaries "committed by recidivist offenders."[br /][br /]"At the time of the change, the Department was clear in that the list of offenses was subject to review and revision as conditions continued to evolve," stated Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, adding, "Predictably, conditions have, in fact, evolved in dynamic fashion. Accordingly, we have reviewed our current protocols and have made several adjustments."[br /][br /]The department also now has the capacity to process a greater number of people under arrest.[br /][Ads /][br /][media ID="6024664" /][br /][br /]This change comes one day after Action News talked to local business owners who were becoming [url HREF="" TARGET="_blank" REL=""]increasingly concerned about a rise in shoplifting.[/url][br /][br /][media ID="6141638" /][br /][/url]