Thursday, June 12, 2008
Yes, the streets of Kensington are filled with litter and debris, which could be the focus of one of our upcoming blogs, but today that is not the kind of clean-up we are talking about. Today, we are talking about fighting crime. Front St. in Kensington has its very own one-man, clean-up crew. That man is Benny. Benny is about 5'10", but what he lacks in height he makes up for in appearance. He has a muscular build, and his arms are covered in tattoos.
Benny is really a unique character. Despite his intimidating appearance, he is actually a very nice guy. In short, his job is to keep loitering to a minimum. The section of Kensington that is Benny's turf sometimes becomes over-ridden by drug-addicts and other undesirables. Understandably, that is not good for business, so the store owners use radios to call Benny to remove these individuals from the premises. There are many shops and restaurants throughout Front St. in Kensington, so there is always something for Benny to do, or somewhere for him to be.
He patrols the area by bike, carries a gun, and wears a uniform. However, the uniform is not a Philadelphia Police uniform. Benny told us that he is licensed by the state as a law enforcement official, but is not part of the Philadelphia Police Department. He said that he can make arrests, and does have to appear in court when he does so. Benny told us some of his war stories which included him interrupting a robbery at a Dunkin' Doughnuts.
Honestly, there is a lot of mystery surrounding this guy. It should be interesting to find out who Benny actually works for and what his jurisdiction is.