Arrest that jaywalker

philadelphia-police-badge.jpgNew Philadelphia Police Commissioner Chuck Ramsey unveiled his comprehensive crime fighting report early this month. Lots was made of  initiatives to pump in new cops and lessen homicide totals with direct action, but a smaller plan is in the works.

An old suggestion by city cop Edward McLaughlin for Philadelphia to conform with most of Pennsylvania in a small and sensible way caught the attention of Ramsey and was included in his plan, as reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer today.Throughout most of the state, such quality of life offenses like littering, jaywalking and acting as a public nuisance require an officer just to write a citation, permitted the transgressor has proof of address. Since 1974, Philadelphia officers have had to arrest the person, and spend an hour or more bringing the individual to be booked and processed.

Don’t be too hopeful though. The change could take at least six months and could require a massive overhaul in processing, as there is the expectation for a huge upsurge in citations. We’ll see if Ramsey can fight Philly, where good ideas come to die.

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