NORTH PHILADELPHIA - A push to restore community policing in Kensington, as a new police district is up and running in an area that’s been hit hard with drugs and crime.
But, the focus is about more than just making arrests.
On the streets of Kensington, gun violence, widespread drug dealing and drug use have long been a problem. But, now there’s a new police initiative, courtesy of Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, called the Kensington District.
"It’s really good to see that they’ve stepped up the patrols. That’s something we’ve wanted for a long time in the neighborhood," stated Nelida Burton.
"These officers are designated in these areas, they don’t go anywhere else. They stay right here along the Kensington Avenue corridor," remarked Captain Pedro Rosario.
Several dozen new officers, some on bike patrol, others on foot patrol and now call the area their home base. Six weeks into it, they’re starting to get real results.
"Gun violence arrests, numerous robbery arrests, narcotics arrests," Captain Rosario added.
But, the focus for the officers isn’t just making arrests. It’s also about interacting with neighbors and building relationships with the community.
"My officers were out there riding their bikes and just started talking to the kids on the block. More and more kids started to come out and the parents started to come out," explained Sergeant Timothy Linahan.
"You don’t feel intimidated with cops in the neighborhood. They make it feel like a welcome neighborhood," commented Burton.
Nelida Burton has lived on Jasper Street for a dozen years. She’s starting to see drug dealers and drug users move on.
"The trend has been going down, with their presence, it keeps people away," Burton said.
"You get a lot of waves, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of good jobs," Sergeant Linahan added.
DOWNLOAD: FOX 29 NEWS APP