- - Tuesday, January 9, 2018


The good news is that Philadelphia police officers will soon be patrolling the city’s mean streets in 150 new patrol cars that have been equipped with bulletproof windows.

According to the Philadelphia Police Department, the patrol cars will have ballistic shields affixed to the front door panels and “‘transparent armor” in the front windows.

The bulletproof windows were ordered in light of two separate incidents in which two Philadelphia police officers were ambushed and shot while sitting in their patrol cars. Both were seriously wounded, but thankfully both survived.

In 2016 Philadelphia police officer Jesse Hartnett was shot while stopped at an intersection. A surveillance camera captured the moment that the gunman, wearing a long white tunic and shouting “Allah Akbar,” ran up to Officer Harnett’s patrol car and fired into the driver’s side window. Officer Harnett was shot three times in his left arm.

Incredibly, Officer Harnett got out of his car and returned fire, wounding the suspect, who was later captured by other officers.

Sgt. Sylvia Young, who was wearing a bulletproof vest, was also sitting in her patrol car when a gunman opened fire on her, hitting her in her left shoulder, arm and torso. The shooter, who also that night fired on a 25-year-old woman, killing her, and wounded a University of Pennsylvania police officer, was later shot and killed by other officers.

According to the Philadelphia Police Department, the bulletproof windows will cost around $1,300 dollars per patrol car. For those who believe “Blue Lives” matter, the cost is well worth it.

Of course, all lives matter, but a growing segment of the country has expressed a visceral hatred toward the police and called publicly for attacks on cops to avenge and counter what they perceive as police murders of innocents. And others have taken up the cause and attacked police officers, murdering some of them.

The anti-police movement even led to a brazen incident late one night this past November when a dozen cop haters vandalized two police cars outside of a Philadelphia Police station. The patrol cars were damaged with a smoke bomb, paint and a hammer. Glass bottles with red paint were thrown at the station.

When cops scrambled out of the station they discovered the damaged cars and anti-police pamphlets scattered on the sidewalk. A hammer was left protruding out of one of the windshields. No police officers were injured, but the police captain in charge admitted that the incident unnerved him.

Also, this past November a “flash mob” went wild in the upscale Rittenhouse Square area of Philadelphia and a police officer was among the victims of the more than 100 violent and disorderly teenagers. The flash mob attacked a couple walking down the street and harassed many others. The teenagers were being dispersed when a police officer was punched and kicked by two teenagers, one of them a 16-year-old girl.

And this past July, Philadelphia officers were assaulted by a local Antifa group at a pro-Trump rally. The opposing sides fought each other on the street and the cops who were attempting to break up the scuffle when officers were attacked by the Antifa protestors.

As a writer, I’ve gone out on patrol many times with police officers, I’ve heard them express their concerns over shootings and other attacks on officers. They know that while out on patrol they are a highly visible target that attracts criminals, terrorists and malcontents. But they simply do their job and go out and protect the public despite the threats to their own personal safety.

Adding to the concerns of Philly cops is the belief that the newly elected District Attorney does not truly have their back. Larry Krasner, a lifelong civil rights lawyer who has sued the Philadelphia Police Department 75 times, was elected DA and recently took office. The new DA has represented pro-bono anti-police organizations such as Black Lives Matter, ACT-Up and Occupy Philly over the years. What he has never done is prosecute a criminal.

The rank and file cops don’t trust Larry Krasner, who was elected with the help of a huge contribution from leftist billionaire George Soros. The cops see Larry Krasner as having zero experience in law enforcement and suspect with some cause that his sympathies are not with cops, but rather with cop killers and cop haters.

But the Philly cops I’ve spoken to are thankful for the bulletproof glass.

New York City also provides their police officers with bulletproof glass in their patrol cars, as three NYPD police officers were murdered in different incidents while sitting in their cars.

As a sign of support and concern for the safety of our cops, I’d like to see more municipalities do the same.

• Paul Davis is a writer who covers crime, espionage and terrorism.

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