Local residents joined members of the 12th Police District Chaplains Program, Police District Advisory Council (PDAC) and Community Relations gathered on Thursday, October 21 for a Pop-up Prayer Rally to pray for peace in one of Southwest Philadelphia’s most dangerous areas.
Standing on the corner of South 52nd Street and Florence Avenue, 12th District Community Affairs officer Arnold Mitchell noted that, “This area has seen a lot of loitering and gambling, and drugs are a continuing problem. Recently, there was a shooting just around the corner.”
Two weeks ago, gunfire erupted during a vigil down the street at 52nd and Warrington gunfire erupted. The vigil itself was to mourn the killing of young Donovan Porter at a takeout restaurant at 54th and Willows a few days before. It was pure providence that no one among the more than 100 people attending the vigil was hit during the shooting or injured during the wild panic that followed.
“This is part of our effort to mobilize community awareness and support,” continued Officer Mitchell. “We are moving around the district to other location where gun violence has occurred.”
To date this year in the City, gun violence is up 40 percent and already exceeds the 360 shootings resulting in death during 2019.
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw has stressed that a holistic approach by law enforcement, leaders and communities must be used to deter gun violence. “We need folks to come forward,” Outlaw was quoted as saying – while pleading for an end to not speaking up about crimes in neighborhoods.
According to Shama Albany a member of the local PDAC the 12th Police District police and its related groups are holding activities like the pop-ups and walks so that law enforcement will be better able to listen to what the community is thinking and bring calm into its streets.
Capt. Scott Drissel commands the 12th Police District and the Rev. Beverly Clayburn chairs the 12th’s Police Chaplains.
(Information for this article was graciously provided by the 12th Police District Advisory Council.)