Philadelphia police hope Kensington substation will help tackle drugs, violence

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A new initiative has started in Philadelphia's Kensington section to stop the drugs and violence.

In fact, as of Wednesday night, when you walk around the Kensington and Allegheny avenues area you'll see piles of trash and orange syringe caps all over the sidewalks. You'll also meet many people living around there that wish things were different.

"It's dirty! You know people are dying. The drugs are so much," said neighbor Mayra Colon.

"They need to have more treatment available to people that are in need, desperately in need," said neighbor Ben Benson.

There are also dozens of vacant buildings that neighbors wish were vibrant businesses.

"We need jobs. We need jobs out here for them, training or something," said Anthony Newell.

Philadelphia Police Captain Pedro Rosario hopes their new police substation at Allegheny Avenue and Emerald Street is a start. First, they're targeting drug dealers.

"What we want to do is go after the head of the snake. When you chop off the head, the rest of the body goes," said Captain Rosario.

He also says they want to help those addicted.

"We don't come in alone. We come in with the other city services. We come in with outreach, town watch, our faith-based partners in the area," said Rosario.

Rosario says each officer on patrol will now be wearing body cameras at all times.

Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez is spearheading the Restorative Investment Plan for Kensington Residents. She says the police substation and trash removal are just the beginning steps for this part of her district.

"We've invested in the corridor. We've doubled up our cleaning contract in the area. We've provided direct support to the homeowners in that area through rental assistance. It's not one thing, it's 10 things that have to happen," said Quiñones Sánchez.
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