Officer Involved Shooting in Context: Violent Crime

Although crime rates nationally have fallen to some of the lowest levels recorded, many cities and metropolitan areas continue to experience spikes in certain crimes, such as homicide, aggravated assaults and shootings, robberies and burglaries. Law enforcement agencies confronting street level violence have answered the calls from the community for increased visibility of law enforcement. Agencies have done this with attention to the hot spots for crime, in light of the fact that as much as 50% of crime in an area comes from less than 5% of places. While placing officers in high crime areas during peak periods of violence, we can hope to see violence reduced, but with this deployment strategy, it is important to recognize that there is increased risk and danger for those on patrol.

Philadelphia Police Department

As an example, the following data from the Philadelphia Police Department shows what officers in Philadelphia face every day to keep Philadelphia safe.

The first table below offers a statistical look at crime, assaults against police officers, and police involved shootings starting in 2007. The second table defines the terms used in the first table.

(Used With The Permission of the Philadelphia Police Department)

These maps show the areas of violent crime. They help illustrate the level of violence in the areas where officers are on patrol. Officer involved shootings do not occur in a vacuum; they occur in neighborhoods where pockets of violence exist.

(Used With The Permission of the Philadelphia Police Department)