Maria Quiñones Sánchez

English - Español - 简体中文 - العربية
English - Español - 简体中文 - العربية

Maria's Vision

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Public Safety

Beyond Policing + Better Policing: City Government's Public Safety Mission

As Philadelphia’s Accountability Mayor, I will make sure that every city leader and every city department is working to make Philadelphia safer. When our only answer is for police to show up after a crime, that means government has failed. My comprehensive public safety strategy reimagines the role of all government departments, while transforming the police and criminal legal system. With training, equipment, and innovation, all city workers will contribute to our public safety mission.

Safe and Clean Neighborhoods: Operational Departments Lead the Way

We will empower our city workforce with training and equipment upgrades to lead our public safety strategy in every department. 

Public safety starts with our city’s operational departments: Licenses & Inspections, Streets, Water, Neighborhood Services, and Health and Human Services. 

As Mayor, Maria will give the departments the tools they need to vastly improve service delivery, incorporating national best practices and salary reviews to address historical discrimination in compensation. 

Streets Department Safety Agenda:

To prevent crime, develop a comprehensive plan for a city-wide CCTV program, prioritizing neighborhoods experiencing higher crime, schools, and commercial zones and leveraging existing camera initiatives.

Because blight and crime go hand-in-hand, revamp trash collection systems to increase blight removal and combat illegal dumping areas, prioritizing neighborhoods experiencing higher crime, schools, and commercial zones.

To increase street life and public confidence in public spaces, expand improved, energy-efficient street lighting throughout neighborhoods, alleyways, commercial corridors, and surrounding major community assets.

I saw first-hand in London how a comprehensive CCTV system can help solve crimes and deter criminal behavior. As Mayor I will adapt best practices from around the globe to create a comprehensive system that works for Philadelphia.

L&I Public Safety Agenda:

Develop a proactive plan to inspect and secure vacant properties and ensure pathways to compliance for small landlords and commercial businesses, prioritizing neighborhoods experiencing higher crime, schools, and commercial zones.

Water Department Public Safety Agenda:

We all know that our quality of life affects our crime rate. The Water Department must assume the responsibility of ensuring environmental justice citywide, prioritizing historically underserved neighborhoods plagued with crime, blight, and high levels of health disparities.

Revise Philadelphia’s storm water management strategy to include more proactive cleaning of water inlets and supporting water usage and energy efficiencies.

Develop a street tree action plan, upgrading treescapes citywide and restoring sidewalks, prioritizing neighborhoods with dangerous heat indices and historic health disparities to improve air quality, environmental health, and resilience to climate change.

Neighborhood Services Public Safety Agenda:

The Neighborhood Services Division of the Managing Director’s office must lead a comprehensive realignment of service delivery and develop a plan using zero-based budgeting to meet our city’s needs and make strategic investments.

Health and Human Services Public Safety Agenda:

A safe city begins with stronger families. Too often, our city government removes children from homes instead of giving parents the tools to thrive. Our Health and Human Services Cabinet must restore its commitment to strengthen vulnerable families and reject policies that disrupt and separate families because of their economic conditions. This includes direct collaboration with all service providers to provide proactive intervention to stabilize and keep families together.

Accountability and Transformation: Police Department Reforms

Philadelphia needs smart policing- real training and investments in technology, forensics and equipment to help prevent and solve crimes.
It’s time for a citywide conversation to reimagine the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) as a Public Safety and Community Response Department that is transparent and accountable. Too much of our police budget goes into systems designed for another age and an outdated approach, and too many police programs and priorities are mismatched with public safety needs. Beginning with an independent review of PPD’s budget, technology utilization, and organizational structure, we will incorporate input from a stakeholders oversight board to transform the PPD.

Budget Review:

Engage a forensic top-to-bottom review of the PPD’s budget of almost $800 million to make sure our spending is focused on preventing crime.
Reorganize PPD leadership to include a civilian Chief Financial Officer to increase fiscal accountability.

Deployment Reforms:

Review geographic police districts and divisions to better reflect community changes, develop equitable resource distribution, enhance intelligence capacity, and improve community engagement.

Reorganize PPD leadership to include a civilian Chief Financial Officer to increase fiscal accountability.

  • 911 Response.
  • A fully-staffed Narcotics Unit.
  • Center City/Commercial corridors deployment focused on bike and foot patrols.
  • Neighborhood foot patrols – foot patrol in our highest need areas is the best training ground for new officers.
As Councilmember representing the neighborhoods hardest hit by drug-related violence, I saw firsthand how the narcotics industry drives violence in Philadelphia. In 2022, 41% of homicide victims had at least one prior arrest for possession with intent to distribute. This problem demands coordination at every level of government, and an expansion of focused deterrence strategies that coordinate all law enforcement efforts.

Expanding Civilian Roles:

We have too many cops doing jobs civilians can do, instead of being out on the streets. We can address staffing concerns and improve deployment of sworn officers by increasing civilian roles within the department.
  • Implement a civilian Traffic/Community Officer role to redistribute traditional police duties including traffic and parking enforcement, ticketing, construction site deployment and other joint functions with L&I, street closures, and other community and neighborhood services.
  • Expand Neighborhood Services Unit and increase enforcement of abandoned vehicles, including using PPA capacity to better coordinate.
  • Expand proactive traffic enforcement to reduce fatal accidents.
  • Develop a strategy to address activities of quads/ATVs/Boom Parties.
  • Create a citywide Homeless Services Unit in coordination with Behavioral Health Unit.

Quality of Life Enforcement:

Quality of life enforcement makes neighborhoods safer.
  • Expand funding and deployment of CLIP.
  • Expand Neighborhood Services Unit and increase enforcement of abandoned vehicles, including using PPA capacity to better coordinate.
  • Expand proactive traffic enforcement to reduce fatal accidents.
  • Develop a strategy to address activities of quads/ATVs/Boom Parties.
  • Create a citywide Homeless Services Unit in coordination with Behavioral Health Unit.

Professionalize PPD Human Resources:

Review HR structure and pursue contract changes to support professional development, transparency, and accountability.

Create a Professional Development and Integrity Unit to help integrate HR best practices and recommendations.
Conduct an independent audit of the Heart and Lung program, including seeking financial damages from doctors who have abused the system.

Public Safety Data Dashboard:

As Mayor, Maria will call on all city departments and independent entities of the criminal justice system to contribute to a public data dashboard tracking the movement of cases through the justice system, actions taken by departments as part of the coordinated interdepartmental public safety strategy and inclusion of national best practices.

System-wide Criminal Justice Reforms:

Every year, tens of thousands citizens return to Philadelphia from federal, state, and county prisons. We must do much more to help stabilize families during periods of incarceration, and make sure returning citizens come back to family-sustaining jobs, training opportunities, and affordable housing. Given historic inequities we must examine every juncture in the criminal legal system to incorporate more restorative practices, ensure humane treatment, and support returning citizens.

Public Defender:

Public defenders often have the best understanding of how a community has broken down. We must streamline services and expand resources to support families entering the system, prioritizing young people and minimizing family disruption, including housing, financial, and mental health support services.


Reduce the time it takes for cases to move through courts so that members of the community who are compliant with their court orders can attend school, take care of their families, and go to work with minimal disruption. Too many Philadelphians need to wait too long for their cases to be resolved and for their lives to be back in order.


Provide data that allows for a review of activities conducted by Bail Commissioners and monitors the costs and timelines of cases.
Work to minimize pretrial incarceration.


Continue efforts to reduce the prison population, with alternatives that include daily reporting centers, house arrest, electronic monitoring, and other strategies to minimize disruption for families.

A Coordinated Effort to Strengthen Gun Laws:

Continue to present a united front as we lobby the state for the freedom to write gun laws that make sense for Philadelphia, as Council’s proactive efforts have been repeatedly struck down in the courts.

I am running for Mayor of Philadelphia to ensure that every neighborhood is safe and every Philadelphian thrives.

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