PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Eyewitness News has learned that the Philadelphia School District plans to pay community members to keep children safe on their way to school as the gun crisis continues. Young and old weighed in on Thursday evening and came up with their own solutions, including the police commissioner and district attorney.
It was a packed house Thursday night as community members gathered to help resolve the gun violence crisis plaguing the city. It was a call to action that received dozens of responses.
GOING NOW: There’s a huge crowd here at the Public Safety Solutions Meeting at MLK High School. People were invited to come up with solutions to end gun violence. @PPDCommish here too. @CBSPhilly pic.twitter.com/CqfSc6PnIz
– Jasmine Payoute (@jpayoute) 28 October 2021
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“We said to come tonight to find solutions,” Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said. “Solutions and this room is packed. “
State Representative Stephen Kinsey hosted the public safety meeting held at MLK High School on Thursday evening.
From outlaw to District Attorney Larry Krasner, Kinsey said all levels of government were present to hear from residents.
“We have to go back to a community style police. People are now presenting their solutions to gun violence. This gentlemen says he is a former policeman who started his own anti-violence organization. @CBSPhilly pic.twitter.com/3p3zey8IvR
– Jasmine Payoute (@jpayoute) October 29, 2021
“We have to get back to community style policing and the police have to be accountable to the community,” one man said.
The meeting comes just hours after the Philadelphia School District rolled out its safety plan to tackle hallway violence.
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“There was a shooting near a school where my friend is attending and I was concerned for her safety,” said Jhadae Sterling, a high school student from Parkway Northwest. “She was texting, ‘if something happens to you I love you’ and I was really scared and I just thought it had to stop.”
The plan aims to help and includes increasing the police presence in high crime risk areas at the start and end of the school day, and the use of trained civilians to work around school perimeters.
“I’m fine with the idea of patrolling, but I’m not entirely sure it should be with the police,” said another young girl. “I think it should be with people who are already part of the community.”
Joe Budd agrees. He’s with Germantown’s Men Who Care and came to this meeting with a solution that he says has already worked.
“The goal is to build relationships and then we can bring in resources,” Budd said.
Although the solutions were not immediate, the objective of the meeting was to maintain an ongoing dialogue between residents and elected officials.
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So far this year, there have been over 430 homicides.