Philly has been trying to get a grip on the murder rate in the city. It has been at a record high all year, and getting worse. There are 294 murders as of today. Mostly in black neighborhoods where both shooters and victims are kids. Sylvester Johnson, the police chief is looking for citizen volunteers to help.
Sylvester Johnson says black men, in particular, have a duty to protect more vulnerable residents. He wants each volunteer to pledge to work three hours a day for at least 90 days.
“We are definitely encouraging black men to be involved in it,” Johnson told The Associated Press on Thursday. “We have an obligation to give back. We have an obligation to protect our women, our children, our elderly.”
But Johnson said he would not turn away men of other races.
“We have to put the tourniquet where we’re bleeding at this point,” he said. “We’re not restricting anybody.”
It is sickening to see this happening to the kids and it does have to be stopped. It never has been as bad in Philly as it is now. Sylvester is looking for volunteer citizens to get involved by going into their neighborhoods and give 3 hours a day for 90 days. 10,000 if possible, but he’d be pleased if he only gets 1000. What I like about this idea is that these volunteers are not ‘the man.’ They are fathers, uncles, brothers, and sons of families living in the neighborhood, not police with guns, clubs, and pepper spray. This kind of involvement will be the starting point for turning things around in the city and the chief deserves all the support he can muster.
According to the 10,000 Men website, Sunday October 21, 2007 is the kick-off of ‘It’s a new day in Philadelphia’ in the Liacouras Center at Temple University, 12 noon.
Philadelphia Daily News link