IN OP-ED, COUNCILMAN OH SAYS NEW LEGISLATION PROTECTS LAW-ABIDING CITIZENS FROM SQUATTERS

In Allan Domb, Bobby Henon, Brian O'Neill, Cindy Bass, Council News, David Oh, Derek Green, Jannie Blackwell, Mark Squilla, News by PHL Council

Councilman David Oh (At Large) recently wrote a commentary in the Philadelphia Inquirer on his legislation updating and clarifying law enforcement protocols to address combat criminal and defiant trespassing. The bill is co-sponsored by Councilwoman Cindy Bass, Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, Councilman Allan Domb, Councilman Bobby Henon, Councilman Derek Green, Councilman Brian O’Neill, Councilman Mark Squilla.

Read the commentary in its entirety on philly.com. An excerpt is posted below:

“This legislation implements new internal protocols for law enforcement to specifically address trespassing crimes and outlines an accelerated civil process for cases that require the attention of the courts if law enforcement cannot resolve them. It is needed and reasonable.

These criminals clearly hurt the law-abiding citizens that I serve, whose houses are broken into, plundered, vandalized, and kept from them for months and even years due to the lack of civil procedures to address this rampant problem.

I think of the elderly African American widow on a fixed income whose neighbor trespassed into the Germantown cottage she was using nearly her entire life savings to renovate and planned to move into. At one point, the police threatened to arrest her for trying to get back into her own property. The trespasser lived there for 10 months before she was finally removed. By then, the house had been stripped bare, leaving nothing but the structure. This woman is now spending the remainder of her life savings trying to recover from the damage, but it will not be enough.”

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