Police, clergy, community take on S.W. Philly crime - 6at4


Thursday evening, Philadelphia police and members of the clergy will be knocking on doors in West Philadelphia - specifically the 19th District- an area with its share of violent crime. Just Wednesday, a 35-year-old man was shot in the stomach at Frasier and Arch in broad daylight. And there are plenty of other crimes, mainly burglaries and thefts.

"We identified three pretty large areas where we're experiencing crime or have experienced crime for a long time. We're going to hit these locations. go door to door to educate the community on different programs we have," said Philadelphia Police Inspector Dennis Wilson.

Police want residents to be aware of what's going on and to hear from them: Where are the trouble spots; what can police do to help.

Wilson added, "We want to know from residents if they're having any problems; poor lighting, abandoned vehicles, vacant property."

Police will also encourage businesses to register surveillance cameras with the city. They'll talk to residents about protecting their property more effectively.

In recent months, police increased foot patrols in West Philadelphia. It's all a return to old-fashioned policing. Residents we talked to believe it's the right approach.

"That's a long time coming," said Lawrence Barham. "We should have been doing that. We sorely need it yes."

"I've seen them in several neighborhoods," said Alyson Baylor. "It's wonderful. They should have never stopped. So much at a level that it is now."

The police and clergy members will be assembling at 55th and Walnut and head out into the neighborhood. Next week they'll tackle the 18th District and then the 12th after that. The inspector said with so much crime, crime-fighting today is about innovation and this is an approach they're willing to try.

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