Gun Violence in Philadelphia: Community meets to discuss violence prevention efforts

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Community members continue to fight gun violence after a violent weekend in the city of Philadelphia.

In Southwest Philadelphia, a peace march began Tuesday night at 60th Street and Elmwood Avenue.

Pastor Beverly Clayburn, who directs Straight Gate Church and serves as a police chaplain in Philadelphia, guided the group through the neighborhood and made connections with neighbors.

At the Transfiguration Baptist Church in West Philadelphia, the Office of Policy & Strategic Initiatives for Criminal Justice & Public Safety continued its Philadelphia Roadmap to Safer Communities (PRSC) 2022 Community Listening Tour Series.

The audio tour is an opportunity for community members to share their opinions and thoughts on the city’s violence prevention efforts and learn more about the roadmap to safer communities, while also building connections with leaders, residents and city officials.

“When we think of community meetings, we have this traditional mindset of panels and then questions and answers. I think what we’re doing differently this time is that we’re actually engaging with community members,” said Erica Atwood, senior director of criminal justice and public safety for the city of Philadelphia.

Tuesday night’s meeting is the seventh of ten in the series.

There was food and community members were able to interact with the city leaders, including those providing suggestions and creating guidelines.

Stacy Phillips is the CEO of the West Philadelphia Achievement Charter Elementary School. Just a few weeks ago, an 8-year-old student brought a gun into school, which discharged in the student’s backpack.

No students were shot, but one student was taken to hospital by ambulance after suffering a panic attack.

The incident shows the layers and different types of trauma faced by the youngest in the community.

Phillips said she likes the new style of the format.

“It’s better than the small group lecturing style. You have an opportunity to hear and be heard, and those things in a small group can be scaled up to see what comes out of it,” Phillips said.

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