6abc & WHYY's Reclaiming Our Streets: Community Voices

Monday, October 9, 2023
Reclaiming our Streets: Community Voices
Reclaiming our Streets: Community Voices

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- When it comes to gun violence people often talk about the problem, but what about the solutions?

That's the focus of a new special from 6abc and WHYY called "Reclaiming our Streets: Community Voices."

The special program profiles the issue of gun violence and looks at some of the people who are having an impact.

The organizations and individuals whose work is highlighted in the special acknowledge they're fighting an uphill battle.

"The numbers are down, but still 321 people have been murdered in this city," said Interim Philadelphia Police Commissioner John Stanford Jr. "If you have a fear of getting gas in the middle of the day... then it has an impact."

It's why Philadelphia police are taking a different strategy when it comes to combating gun violence

"We discovered 43% of our gun violence was happening in four core districts," said Stanford.

Solving the gun violence epidemic, though, will take more than police. "Reclaiming Our Streets: Community Voices" includes state legislators and city officials like Erica Atwood, Deputy Managing Director of the City of Philadelphia's Department of Criminal Justice and Public Safety.

"We have to look at gun violence as a deadly symptom of what are some systemic issues that exist in our communities," said Atwood.

Grassroots organizations are also highlighted in the special program, including the Black Male Community Council, which was founded by Stanley Crawford after losing his son to gun violence.

"(I founded the organization) so we as Black men can get out in the community and try to help," he said.

The program even includes ways that kids are helping address the gun violence crisis. That includes the newly-formed Safe City Boys, which was developed by the creators of the Philly Truce App.

Young men chosen for the program are trained in a number of skills including conflict negotiation.

Other stories to be featured in the special include a Germantown mosque that, after a deadly shooting, hired private security, bought property and opened businesses in the neighborhood.

The different approaches all have the same goal: to stop the violence.

"No matter what goes on, we're going to continue to do this work," said Crawford.

RELATED: Check the 6abc Neighborhood Safety Tracker