PHILADELPHIA - Members of Philadelphia's Kingsessing neighborhood gathered Monday to share ideas about ways to combat the scourge of gun violence plaguing the city.
Philadelphia's Office of Policy and Strategic Initiative for Criminal Justice and Public Safety continued their Roadmap to Safer Communities initiative Friday night by hosting an open floor meeting at Francis J. Meyes Recreation Center.
Members of Philadelphia's Kingsessing neighborhood gathered Monday to share ideas about ways to combat the scourge of gun violence plaguing the city.
The hope is to reduce gun violence by finding solutions from within communities through four goals or strategies: Connecting to and helping you thrive, Coordinating city services and planning, creating strong community engagement and partnerships, and safer and healthier neighborhoods.
"What do they need more of? What are some things they see missing in the community?" Senior Director of Criminal Justice and Public Safety Erica Atwood said. "Those who are closest to the problems are often closest to the solution."
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The format allowed community members to openly brainstorm ideas and share thoughts on ways to combat violence and improve the quality of life.
"If we, as those who are in positions of power, don’t connect with those who are having those experiences on the ground, how can we ever work towards a solution," Attwood said. "I am working to not just emphasis a problem but work with the community on a solution."
So far this year, there have been more than 150 homicides in Philadelphia, according to the latest data from the Philadelphia Police Department. This staggering number follows a historically bloody 2021 where there were 562 murders in Philadelphia.
"The more we talk to each other and the more we get together, that is they way." ___ said. "The solution is in our communities, in ourselves, we have to keep talking to each other."