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Drug Overdose Deaths Skyrocket In 2020 Fueled By Coronavirus Pandemic

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Mayor Cherelle Parker made it her mission to clean up Philly in her first 100 days in office. During a press conference Thursday, Mayor Cherelle L. Parker and Police Commissioner Kevin J. Bethel announced plans to address public safety, specifically in the Kensington area of Philadelphia. With that, history was also made on Thursday, with the historic introduction and swearing in of a new Deputy Police Commissioner.

RELATED: Cherelle Parker Makes History as First Woman Mayor of Philadelphia

Pedro Rosario was appointed as Philadelphia Police Department’s new Deputy Commissioner. Rosario is the first Deputy Police Commissioner of Latino descent in the police department’s 225-year history. Rosario was tasked with specific duties to address the drug-ridden area of Kensington, and provide a safer community for citizens living in Philadelphia.  Rosario has 29 years of experience with the department, spending much of it in the 24th and 25th police districts, where Kensington is located.

Homelessness and the opioid crisis in Philadelphia

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“I am deeply committed to fostering a culture of collaboration where every member of our community will be heard, will be valued and will be empowered,” Rosario said. “Together we can achieve remarkable things and our success will not only be measured by the goals we reach but by the positive influence we have on the world around us.”

Commissioner Rosario is coming into his new role with the city not too far removed from it’s record year of accidental deaths via overdose.

In 2022, Philadelphia saw 1,413 unintentional overdose deaths — it was more than ever before. It marked an 11 percent increase from 2021’s previous high of 1,276 accidental overdose deaths.

“We’re going to focus on Kensington,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel said. “It is one the most challenging areas in America. Not just in the city, in America.”

Rosario was reluctant to share any specifics in regards to his plans for Kensington.

“I can’t give you my secret plan right now,” Rosario said Thursday. “It will be forthcoming. But I can tell you that we are diligently working to something that will empower everybody.”

Watch Pedro Rosario’s Historic Appointment as Deputy Police Commissioner below!

First Latino Deputy Police Commissioner Pedro Rosario to Oversee Safety Plan for Kensington  was originally published on

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