“The shooting is very out of hand and it’s the youth that’s doing it,” said Philadelphia Alderman Cassie Henson.
“It’s a scary situation because I have children and it concerns me. I have my mother. She’s afraid and everyone I talk to in the community is afraid.”
Ward 4 has seen a number of shootings in the past few months. During a recent drug bust in the area, police seized over $100,000 worth of marijuana, meth, and prescription pills.
“It’s time that the community stand up and take control of the situation,” said Henson.
She explained there’s a lack of opportunities for youth in Philadelphia and said one way to reduce crime in Ward 4 is to bring those activities back.
“Our community used to have activities where the kids were involved in the churches, sports, the basketball gym.”
Another way, she said, is to create more opportunities for residents.
“I believe if there were more job opportunities that would deter some of the negative things that’s going on. As a city, we are working to make sure people have an opportunity to have a job, make decent wages, and be able to take care of their families.”
Though in the meantime, Henson said the community will have to work together to target the issue.
“We’re encouraging everyone to come out to these meetings we’re having. It’s going to be a constant thing until we can get the relationships established. We got to get our community back together. Now everybody is separated, but if we can bring them back together with that oneness, we can make a lot of changes.”
The next meeting to address problems in the community is Monday at Westside Community Center at 6 p.m. Everyone is encouraged to attend.