WEST PHILADELPHIA - Neighbors are fed up and taking action to protect their communities from the violence plaguing the city right now.
As the raindrops fell Wednesday night outside the Wharton Wesley Church, residents still shaken by the recent gun violence in their neighborhoods gathered to try and take their community back block-by-block.
"A lot of the neighbors decided that they needed to do something. They want to be involved with something that's part of the situation," Ronald Ryan with Town Watch said.
The murder of 16-year-old Kahree Simmons two weeks ago on the Christy Rec Center basketball court a few blocks away, brought homeowners out to learn how to form a town watch on their own streets.
"We can be like the suburbs. We don't have to have all this. We don't have to hurt each other to get along with each other," one resident said.
18th District officers Shamssadeen Baukman and Justin Harris work these streets every day. They know the gun violence that plagues this area and the triumphs that can come when neighbors work with the police.
Organizers and the 25 residents who came here hope this is just a start. They want to spread the word that to stop the violence it takes numbers and courage to stand up for where you live.
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