You notice when you’ve arrived in Mantua. Crossing over the Lancaster Avenue border to the south, the buildings rapidly deteriorate as you progress further north. Boarded windows, missing shingles—these houses may or may not be inhabited (the vacancy rate is over 30%) and the surrounding neighborhood lacks the lively business district that draws most people to an area. Consequently, the streets are quiet, and the contrast is striking from the University City area of Philadelphia that most students are familiar with.
Yet, as with all neighborhoods, some spots remain untouched by the poverty surrounding them. Walking down Warren Street, a small street in the southern section of Mantua, my partner and I both noticed a clearly rehabilitation of the houses. The siding was new, the bricks were clean, and decorations for Halloween were cheerfully hung. Just as we saw this, however, we saw the police station located directly across the street. At least ten police cars lined the street, and a few officers sat lounging outside of the station. Putting two-and-two together, we realized not only the significant impact of a neighborhood police force on crime rates and street safety, but the relative peace they bring to individuals living within their perimeter.