Criminal Justice System Reforms
One of Bill's proudest accomplishments in his first term is his service on the city's Criminal Justice Advisory Board (CJAB) to help improve public safety.
CJAB is compromised of all local agencies involved in the criminal justice system (e.g., courts, police, prisons, D.A., public defender). Over the past three years, CJAB's collaborative efforts have resulted in reducing the city's prison population from 9,800 in 2009 to under 7,400 at the start of 2011; over $25 million a year in savings from increased efficiencies in the criminal justice system; and a series of cross-agency reforms that have improved the administration of justice in Philadelphia.
Bill has helped lead CJAB's call for smart investments that will generate cost-savings for the city, including by streamlining operations, and increasing public safety. One of his prime areas of focus on CJAB is using technology to concentrate policing resources on the streets, where they can make the most difference.
Bill played an integral role in helping save Philadelphia's citywide wireless network. Use of the network will enable the city to increase police presence on the street by 20% without increasing manpower by enabling our brave men and women in uniform to use technology in the field, rather than having to spend time filling out paperwork. The network also can be used to help take a chunk out of the significant "digital divide" existing in Philadelphia, where over 45% of households do not have access to the internet.
Cell Phone Ban
Concerned both about public safety and quality of life for city residents, Bill introduced and passed legislation banning use of handheld phones and texting while driving within Philadelphia. This will not only help prevent accidents caused by distracted driving, but also reduce gridlock in city streets caused by drivers whose eyes are on their phones, not on stoplights.
Bill has a dedicated and talented constituent services team -- Vernice Bradley, Scott Mulvey and Antoinette Lauer -- who work day in and day out to help residents address public safety and quality of life issues in their neighborhoods. The Green Team has assisted thousands of citizens with concerns ranging from nuisance bars and abandoned properties to trash pick-up and potholes. The team works closely with several Police District Advisory Councils (PDACs) to facilitate community/department relations and to recognize the valued service of our brave police officers.
For more information:
Philadelphia's Wireless Network Has Been Saved (press release, June 19, 2008)
Bill No. 080645: Prohibiting use of a handheld phone while driving