New Philly officers gear up to enforce public safety in Kensington

More than 70 new Philadelphia police officers who just graduated from the academy, will be on the ground to enforce public safety in Kensington this week.

FOX 29’s Gregory Payne spoke to one of the new officers and the deputy police commissioner leading the charge in bringing change to Kensington.

Though drug use still remains out in the open in the streets of Kensington, Philadelphia police say change is on the horizon.

"We’ve gone through nine months of the academy, so just finally getting out there we are all just excited to see what we can learn from the streets," said Carol Burgess, new Philly Police recruit.


75 new Philadelphia police recruits to patrol Kensington streets after graduation

Dozens of recruits joining the Philadelphia Police Department will be thrust into duty after graduating from the academy on Monday.

Officer Carol Burgess is one of those new recruits who is being tasked with helping enforce and clean Kensington.

"What we’ve learned from the academy is just go out there and not expect anything. Going out there with the least amount of expectations, I think is the way to learn as much as you can," the new officer said. 

Deputy Police Commissioner Pedro Rosario, the man in charge of this new effort, is certainly not new to the problems Kensington faces.

"We can come in and just hold the line and arrest everyone right, but that doesn’t serve the vast majority of the people that are suffering," said Deputy Police Commissioner Pedro Rosario. 

It’s definitely going to be quite the task for those officers to try and clean up Kensington, but it’s a task these recruits told FOX 29 they want to pursue. Some of them even say it’s their reason for becoming a police officer.

"That’s exactly who I want here leading the way in this mission, understanding a lot of the nuances that happen here every day, but being able to have that lived experience coming from this community it adds another level of service that the officers can provide when they are encountering our neighbors," said Deputy Commissioner Rosario.

Rosalind Pichardo, the Executive Director of Operation Save Our City, located in Kensington, is pleased to hear the news. 

She is hoping they will help create change in the community she lives and serves in. 

"The stuff that is out here now is not what it used to be 20 years ago, 15 years ago the crimes that are happening now are so different, so if they sit down and listen to us we can do this together and not necessarily an us versus them," said Pichardo. 

Police say with the increase in officers, they will now be able to service the area through their mini station on East Allegheny Avenue.