Safety a top priority for busy weekend in Philadelphia

There will be extra eyes and ears riding around Center City seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.

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Sunday, June 12, 2022
Safety a top priority for busy Philly weekend
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Safety is top of mind for people living, working and visiting Philadelphia.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Safety is top of mind for people living, working, and visiting Philadelphia. Especially with all of the events taking place over the weekend.

But the recent events of violence are impacting businesses along South Street.

"10 or 11 customers per day that's really hard. It's very hard," said an employee of Philly Ice Max.

Philly ice max closed at 10:00 p.m. Friday at the request of police. While they didn't mind, it's hard for them to survive on only a handful of customers.

"I've never seen South Street so quiet ever in my life," said Lucia Tamayo, who lives nearby. "I love Philly. I love South Street. When tragedy hits, everyone thinks differently."

After three people were killed and 11 others shot in last weekend's shooting on South Street, business owners are still on edge about the potential for large crowds.

"The fact that gun violence is so high right now it's a complete mess. It's scary, it really is," said Evan Williams of Queen Village.

Philadelphia police say they're stepping up their efforts on South Street with mounted patrol and officers committed to working 12 hour shifts all weekend long.

That heavy police presence will be needed with the influx of visitors coming into the city for the Philadelphia Flower Show, Phillies games and ODUNDE Festival.

Police won't be the only security on hand at the ODUNDE Festival.

"We have a private security firm that's also going to be here, but we've always had those protocols in place," said Osunbumi Fernandez-West, CEO of ODUNDE.

RELATED: Organizers look to calm worries over safety ahead of annual ODUNDE Festival

The Center City district is also sending in reinforcements.

"We have what we call 40 community service representatives. These are uniformed unarmed individuals equipped with two-way radios, patrolling on foot beat and directly connected to the Philadelphia police. On top of that, we've added 21 bike patrol safety staff," said Paul Levy, president of Center City District.

There will be extra eyes and ears riding around Center City seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.

South Street Headhouse District Executive Director Mike Harris says he hopes the shooting and these safety measures won't deter people from visiting South Street and its 400 plus businesses.

"Anyone can come here. We just ask when people come-- they come for enjoyment and support the businesses," said Harris.