Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Despite the City of Philadelphia's tight budget for the upcoming fiscal 2010 year, the 39th Police District has actually seen a rise in it's police force since Mayor Nutter's new administration came in. The District, which covers the areas of Nicetown and Tioga, has gained a total of 20 more police officers this past year, more than ever received under Mayor Streets administration. Although the city is under a $1 billion budget deficit with a current civilian police hiring freeze, the Philadelphia Police Department has only had it's budget cut by $2 million for the 2010 fiscal year. The increase in police presence allows for the 39th District to create specialized crime fighting units such as those focused more on gun violence. Homicides are even down 25 percent from 2007.
However, even with the gain of police officers, gun violence remains a pertinent issue. Such events, as the recent Gun Buy-Back, have been initiated in order to encourage residents in the area to turn in guns and promote peaceful, safe and gun-free communities. The most recent Gun Buy-Back event yielded a whopping 397 guns, 3 shy of event's goal number. Other initiatives include the CHEERS program, which is a Saturday morning educational program aimed to teach young children, ages 8-17, about gun-related issues. The program, which began on Oct. 3, is run by police officers who volunteer together every weekend.
The Philadelphia Police Department's efforts to combat violence and resolve many of the gun-related issues plaguing the neighborhood are only the first steps to creating peaceful communities. The initiatives the Police Department has taken so far have been successful and there is a new hope for the Nicetown and Tioga neighborhoods to be peaceful, gun-free, violence-free areas.
Group 13, Nicetown/Tioga, Ayisha Arshad and Morgan Ashenfelter
Posted by Ayisha Arshad at 11:56 AM