An interview with Police Captain Scott Drissel
Captain Scott Drissel, commander of the 12th Police District which protects residents and businesses in Southwest spoke to the Globe Times last week on the current efforts of his team to prevent crime and reduce violence in our part of the city.
“I don’t believe that there is one specific or exclusive way to accomplish these vital public safety objectives. It takes a focused commitment from several different agencies using a multitude of strategies,” he reflected.
“Here in the 12th District, we are currently reporting decreases in several crime categories as compared to last year, but specifically a 16% reduction in gun violence, a 22% reduction in total violent crime, and a 5% reduction in property crime.
“What can we credit those reductions to? Well, under the City of Philadelphia’s Roadmap to Safer Communities, we deploy an offender-focused strategy which has been coined ‘Operation Pinpoint.’ This approach examines what areas are the most prone to crime and who are the individuals that are committing those crimes,” he noted.
Based on that information, Captain Drissel strategically directs the 12th District police patrols into these Pinpoint areas and arms them with intelligence to assist them in their duties. They’re essentially assigned to an area and directed towards problematic locations inside that area to be visible, gather information from the community, and conduct quality investigations, when warranted.
“As a result of this and the hard, intelligent, and heroic work of our officers, for instance, we have taken over 200 firearms off our streets this year. These removals occur during arrests for VUFA (Violation of the Uniform Firearm’s Act), essentially carrying a firearm illegally, which is a 28% increase from last year.
“Another important aspect of our reductions has been the partnership with our local, state and federal partners. These agencies have provided us with assistance and resources to fight crime in the 12th District. We are incredibly grateful for their assistance and partnership,” he stated.
Captain Drissel concluded, “It is important to note, however, that just because we currently have declines in violence doesn’t mean we are satisfied. Our officers continue to work hard every day to push those numbers down because NO level of violence is or will ever be acceptable.”