Is Philadelphia Safe? Community Concerns and Initiatives in South Philly

In a recent meeting, South Philadelphia residents and officials discussed concerns regarding crime and public safety. The community-focused event, which was held at the PAL Center in Grays Ferry, featured talks from local leaders and plans for future community spaces.

Key Takeaways: 

  • South Philadelphia residents express fears about public safety and crime at a local meeting.
  • Community leaders discuss ongoing efforts and new projects to enhance neighborhood safety.
  • State Representative announces significant funding for a new recreational center.

South Philly Rallies for Safer Streets and Youth Spaces

Residents in South Philadelphia convened at a community meeting on Thursday night at the PAL Center in Grays Ferry to voice their concerns about creating safe spaces for children, the prevailing crime rates, and overall public safety.

Tyrique Glasgow, Executive Director of the Young Chances Foundation, organized the meeting, which included participation from local police, elected officials, and community leaders.

Longtime Residents and Leaders Call for Action

During the meeting, Sylvia Bennett, a local committee member who has resided in the area for 50 years, emphasized the importance of community awareness and collaboration.

She expressed the community’s fear of venturing out alone due to safety concerns. “People are really afraid to go out alone in the community. Period. I’m really hoping something can be done about it,” Bennett stated.

Philadelphia City Council President Kenyatta Johnson highlighted the necessity for community involvement in public safety initiatives.

No one is going to save us but us at the end of the day. So, it’s a call of action for individuals to get involved when it comes to public safety,” Johnson declared.

Strengthening Community Bonds in South Philly

Tyrique Glasgow also illuminated the efforts being made by residents to maintain neighborhood cohesion, such as operating small pantries and taking on roles like block captains.

Captain Kenneth McKinney, the new commanding officer of the 17th Police District, shared his perspective on community policing.

“We are out. Out to help people understand what we do, let them know that we’re human, we care what they go through and engage in conversations,” said Captain McKinney.

New Funding Fuels South Philly Community Projects

State Representative Jordan Harris brought optimistic news regarding funding for community organizations and the development of new youth spaces, including the upcoming Vare Rec Center.

I cannot wait for that to open. It is going to be an amazing rec center. We have almost a million dollars from the state in that project,” Harris announced, raising hopes for substantial improvements in local community facilities.

Residents of the area, which encompasses homes, a children’s park, a Salvation Army site, and a PAL Center, all within one block at 32nd and Reed, cherish their community despite these challenges.

They remain committed to collaborating on solutions to enhance the quality of life and ensure a safe environment for future generations.