Philadelphia police announce additional patrols ahead of Memorial Day weekend

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- From dispatching credible messengers working to squash rising tensions to additional officer patrols, Philadelphia officials are gearing up for summer during the most violent year in recent history.

"Ahead of Memorial Day, we'll be increasing patrols throughout the city, including at our recreation centers. Officers will be conducting more security checks in business corridors and patrolling hot spots throughout the city," said Philadelphia Police commissioner Danielle Outlaw.

Police are gearing up for Memorial Day weekend, hoping for a peaceful unofficial start of summer while understanding the current cycle of gun violence plaguing the city.

"A lot of these indicators that lead to gun violence -- the arguments, the social media beef, the open-air narcotics and drug markets -- may be exacerbated, which is why we are putting additional resources out," said Outlaw.

A particular focus now is on where large groups of people congregate.

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The victims of two Philadelphia shootings have been identified.



"Our community crisis intervention teams will be increasing their presence in communities throughout the weekend," said Erica Atwood, senior director of the Office of Policy and Strategic Initiatives for Criminal Justice & Public Safety.

The latest gun violence victims fatally shot Tuesday were just 15 and 18-years-old.

On Tuesday, around 7:30 p.m., on the 3900 block of Poplar Street, 18-year-old Overbook High School senior Nasir Marks was shot multiple times and killed.

Later on that evening, 15-year-old Kanye Pittman, a freshman at Benjamin Franklin High School, was gunned down just before 8 p.m. on the 2500 block of North Sydenham Street.

"Our number of shooting victims are up 39% over the last year. To date, there have been 815 shooting victims. Eighty-one of these shooting victims are juveniles," said Outlaw.

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