PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — A party aimed at building police-community relationships as part of the National Night Out was held in West Philadelphia on Tuesday.
“It means a lot,” said Ricci Rawls of West Philadelphia. “The kids in our community don’t really get as much as the internet portrays, so we ran around for summer lunches and everything… And when they do stuff like that, we feel like we, they’re a part of something.” That they actually see us as if we were here.”
19th Precinct Police Captain Robert McKeever said officers wanted to engage with residents and he said it was working to prevent violence. According to McKeever, the homicide rate in the 19th Precinct is down 31% so far this year.
“We’re part of the community, it’s their neighborhood, but we come here to help them. So we have to make sure we’re promoting all of these resources,” McKeever said.
And at the Penrose Recreation Center near the Temple University campus, community organizers hosted their own National Night Out with the goal of improving community spirit.
“The more you get to know people, the less possibility or chance there is that violence will occur,” said Andrea Swan, Temple’s director of community and neighborhood affairs.
As of August 1, 2022, Philadelphia has recorded 319 homicides so far — down 1% from the same time last year.
When Action News asked Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney where he thought the relationship between the community and the city and the police force stood, he said, “If you look at this very diverse group of people by age, they seem like the police to love here because the police respect them and treat them with respect and that gets repaid.”
Kenney says the city needs to get guns out of children’s hands and crack down on straw buying.
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https://6abc.com/national-night-out-2022-philadelphia-police-gun-violence-west-philly/12094741/ West Philadelphia community builds relationships with police on ‘National Night Out’