Citizens urged to simply report criminal activity
Wednesday, December 4, 2013 12:00 AM
A group of residents is urging the public to report any criminal or suspicious activity to the police in the wake of 16 shooting incidents since the beginning of the summer.
The group of about 50 people marched last month as a show of solidarity, walking along the streets where many of the recent crimes have occurred, starting at an apartment complex where a man was shot and killed in the parking lot on Oct. 31.
Shaun Seales helped organize the march while Charlene Kirksey helped organize a community meeting Monday night at Westside Community Center where several pastors and community leaders spoke out against the ongoing violence.
The Rev. Harold Coburn, a member of the city school board, urged those in attendance to teach their children to respect each other as well as law enforcement officers.
Leroy Clemons, president of the NAACP, called for harsher punishments for those who comment multiple crimes.
He voiced concerns about repeat offenders on the streets still committing crimes.
Mayor James A. Young, a member of the group, said earlier that it was time to get back to morals and values.
" You cannot police morals," he said. " Not only Philadelphia, but it seems to be an unraveling of the moral respect for life. We need to rekindle that back in this great small town of Philadelphia. We've had it and we are going to fight to get it back. We have a great city but we just cannot allow these violent acts to go unchecked.
"We need to look at every avenue we can to bring awareness for our communities to stay viable and to grow."
Kirksey said she is tired of hearing about the violence and crime.
"The shootings and stabbings, it takes somebody to come forward and not be afraid to call the police," Kirksey said. "People are living in fear in the community. People do not want to come forward with information about these crimes."
While she lives in the eastern part of the city, Kirksey said she has friends and family members who live in the western area of the city where the majority of the shootings have occurred in recent weeks.
"I have childhood friends who live there," she said. "It's sad and I refuse to let it happen if I can do anything to stop it. I just can't stand it. It bothers me a lot and I hate to see it happening."
Persons wishing to report crime in the city should call the police department at 601-656-2131 or Crimestoppers at (601) 485-1860.