Philadelphia is a welcoming and inclusive destination and is the largest city in the U.S. to be designated Certified Welcoming. This classification is given to cities with policies and programs in place that reflect its values and commitment to ensuring all feel included and welcome.
The safety of every individual is also top priority. The City of Philadelphia, like all other major cities, has faced a spate of crime in the wake of the pandemic, but is steadfastly committed to a well-maintained public environment and works hand in hand with the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) to maintain a hospitable and secure downtown. This partnership upholds and enhances public safety daily, including during conventions and special events.
The City of Philadelphia, renewing its commitment to becoming a more equitable and safer city, dedicated a historic investment — $340 million — to prevent crime and increase safety existing measures. Highlights include new spending for increased police presence and an increase for intervention services.
In December 2022, Mayor Kenney and the Philadelphia Police Department announced the redeployment of at least 100 additional officers to boost police presence. In addition, the PPD has increased both its foot and bicycle patrols to maintain officer presence and accessibility and expand the reach of coverage.
The PHLCVB works closely with the Philadelphia Police Department, the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority, area hotels and other organizations such as the Center City District to plan for each convention and to help with added measures based on the needs of the event.
The teams at the PHLCVB and the PCCA convene the downtown hotel security directors and police, fire, and street services departments to discuss safety and coordination of resources. Security staff is available in and around the convention center with the option of adding additional on- and off-duty police officers as well as safety ambassadors from Center City District. Teams are equipped with radios to reach law enforcement and other services quickly. Custom maps can be created of walking routes for attendees with an increase in police presence along routes at certain times.
A Philadelphia Police Department sub-station is located inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center at 13th and Race streets and is staffed by a Philadelphia police sergeant and approximately 4-6 officers. The officers patrol both the interior and exterior of the convention center with the patrol sector covering 11th Street to Broad Street and Market Street to Race Street. Coverage is provided between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. and coordinates quickly with increased responsiveness.
The Center City District (CCD) deploys a twenty-person, uniformed, unarmed bicycle safety patrol on two overlapping shifts, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 11 p.m., seven days per week. The bike patrol staff wears bright yellow and black jackets marked “Safety Patrol” and functions as a professional town watch, communicating regularly with the police and monitoring the area around the Pennsylvania Convention Center and nearby hotels. The PHLCVB communicates with CCD on each convention schedule, including evening off-property events to deploy staff and increase presence.
The CCD’s community service representatives (CSRs) patrol on foot seven days a week, wearing distinctive teal uniforms, and are equipped with two-way radios, first-aid gear, maps, and other resources. As ambassadors to the City, they interact with the public to provide information, directions, and a welcoming presence, serving as the eyes and ears for the police and providing outreach when needed.
The Night Time Economy Director role was created to lead public engagement efforts to develop an evening strategic governance plan. Raheem Manning works with city partners to ensure that Philadelphia, a 24-hour city, is a safe and welcoming hub for visitors, residents, workers, and business owners.