Philadelphia

Installation of Sonic Devices Targeting Philly Youths Paused

While the Parks and Recreation Department said that community members have requested the installation of the devices, not everyone is on board

The Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department plans to stop installing sonic devices that target young people at parks.

The pause comes as the department conducts an "internal review" into the devices, which emit a high-pitched ringing noise that only those between 13 and 25 years old can hear, a department spokesperson said in a statement.

"Our internal review will be comprehensive, likely including conversations with community members who have requested the installation of these devices, as well as our staff/managers in the field, and other City departments and partners," the spokesperson said.

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While the Parks and Recreation Department said that community members have requested the installation of the devices -- which can already be found at more than 30 parks and playgrounds throughout the city -- not everyone is on board.

"It's essentially just a teenage ban when they haven't done everything wrong. You're just making a place painful to be in for them when you know nothing about them," one neighbor near the Markward Playground told NBC10.

He added that if the city wants to deal with youths causing problems, it should instead invest money into recreation programs, not devices that could biologically harm the youths.

"Maybe if you think they're unsavory teenagers hanging out, why don't you try to put some money in some programs or something instead of just trying to force kids out of one area and have to go somewhere else?"

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