In Council News, Curtis Jones, Jr., Darrell L. Clarke, Featured, Maria D. Quiñones-Sánchez, News by admin

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PHILADELPHIA, February 20, 2020 – One day after a quadruple shooting near a school in North Philadelphia left three wounded and one person dead, City Council today introduced a resolution to create “School Safe Corridors” by adding and enhancing video surveillance cameras near schools.

On Thursday, gunfire broke out in broad daylight, not long after children were let out for the day at Saint Malachy’s elementary school near 11th and Thompson Streets. Four adults were shot, one fatally. No children were shot.

City Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District), working with Councilmember Curtis Jones, Jr. (4th District), chair of the Committee on Public Safety, and Councilmember Maria D. Quiñones Sánchez (7th District), chair of the Committee on Education, introduced a resolution to hold hearings on the need for adding more video surveillance cameras in and around schools in Philadelphia.

Research conducted by the Philadelphia Police Department — at Council President Clarke’s request — has identified 24 schools in the six police divisions across the city where the prevalence of gun violence makes the addition of at least 85 video cameras the recommendation of the Department.

As the Resolution states:

“Philadelphia Police, recognizing the problems associated with gun violence happening near Philadelphia schools, have researched the issue and identified four Philadelphia schools within each of the city’s six police divisions that have the greatest incidence of violent crimes within a 1000-foot safe corridor zone surrounding the schools; and

WHEREAS, Philadelphia Police, using that data, have determined locations where the addition of video cameras will assist the Police Department in reducing the number of violent incidents in and
around these schools. The camera locations are based on the likely travel or corridor route of students to and from school, their areas of congregation, blocks with higher incidence of crimes, and the location of existing cameras; and

WHEREAS, Police have identified a need for at least 85 additional cameras that will effectively create School Safe Corridors around 24 Philadelphia schools located throughout the city’s six police divisions; and now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, that it hereby authorizes the Committee on Public Safety and the Committee on Education to hold hearings on the subject of gun violence near Philadelphia schools.”

“We have to do more to protect students coming to and from school, teachers and others who work in the schools, and residents who live in neighborhoods plagued by all of the gun violence,” Council President Clarke said. “We need to establish School Safe Corridors around these schools and we need to do it as soon as possible.”

Councilmember Jones, who will preside over the hearing with Councilmember Quiñones Sánchez, said children and their caregivers need to feel safe as they walk along corridors to and from school, and they need to know Philadelphia police are monitoring those corridors to keep them safe.

“We have existing cameras in place, and we have Town Watch volunteers in neighborhoods working to keep our children safe,” Councilmember Jones said. “But we need to do more, and enhancing our video camera network near schools is an important public safety measure.”

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Darrell L. Clarke represents the 5th Council District and serves as President of Philadelphia City Council, the 17-member legislative body of Philadelphia City government. A lifelong resident of North Philadelphia and an equitable housing and public education advocate, Council President Clarke works to ensure that every neighborhood in Philadelphia is a community of choice. 

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