In the midst of a year that has seen hundreds of shootings and murders in the Philadelphia area, local residents are joining police to raise awareness on violent crime.
Tuesday marked National Night Out, a nationwide anti-violence campaign. A Night Out event was held in West Philadelphia where people of all ages participated.
NBC10 spoke with one Hunting Park resident and her granddaughter who say they are fed up with the violence in their neighborhood.
“I can’t even sleep in the night sometimes,” said 10-year-old Ciani Hernandez. “I’m just thinking about that, about all the violence that is going on.”
“You don’t feel safe,” said the girl’s grandmother Milta Christian. “Any place you go you have to be looking around.”
“I’m even scared to come out to the porch because you don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Ciani.
As of Tuesday, there have been 812 shootings and 212 homicides in Philadelphia, 17 more than at this time last year.
“There are too many guns out there,” said Milta. “In the newspaper they refer to Philadelphia as ‘Killadelphia.’ The name changed.”
NBC10 spoke with Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey at a Night Out event in West Oak Lane where he met with families.
“The problem isn’t so much at the local level as it is at the state and federal level with the lack of real, firm gun laws,” said Commissioner Ramsey.
Yet even with the hundreds of shootings that have taken place, Commissioner Ramsey tells NBC10 he believes the city is getting a bad rep.
“There is a lot more positive going on in the city of Philadelphia than negative,” said the Commissioner.
NBC10 asked Ciani what she would say to Commissioner Ramsey if she met him.
“Please send more police around the blocks to check on us,” she replied.
Commissioner Ramsey spoke more on the violence via twitter. He tweeted the following:
It is going to take the community to partner with us to make Philadelphia safer