It was great to hear such an honest and organic conversation between the two sides, and ODAAT was proud to facilitate this discussion. As a result, ODAAT, the North Philadelphia community, and the Police Department have now heard a few points, from each side involved, and can work to resolve some of the ongoing issues and tensions straining their respective relationships.
Some of the main take away's from the discussion were that; 1. Youth need to exhibit more respect for elders and police on their block, then they would be more likely to receive it in return. 2. The community needs better maintained recreation centers and playgrounds for positive youth development. 3 Finally, that the street culture of young adults and adults needs to be more effectively hidden from impressionable youth, so that they do not think that crime is their only chance at providing for themselves and their families.
As a result, ODAAT, the Sheriff's Office and the Police Department will be working to revitalize the Winchester Rec Center at 15th and York Street. Members from the community suggested that if the park were cleaned and maintained on a regular basis, neighbors would be more likely to use it in a positive light, in addition to actually providing new and exciting youth programs to get kids interested. It seemed that no one in the discussion was even aware of the Center still providing youth programs.
Stay tuned for more updates on how ODAAT is helping to strengthen relationships between the Police and the Community. We will also be posting info on upcoming events and programs for youth at Winchester Rec Center.
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