Northern Liberties Residents Express Safety Concerns At Community Meeting
By Tim Jimenez
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Northern Liberties Neighbors Association held its monthly meeting Thursday night and there was more interest than usual.
It was standing room only inside the Northern Liberties Community Center. The major topic of discussion was safety, just weeks after a shooting at the Piazza at Schmidt’s that left an Upper Darby man dead.
“Residents in and out of the Piazza are clearly concerned about overall security issues,” said Matt Ruben, president of the neighbors association. “It’s human nature that something like this is going to make people feel insecure, at least for a time or to a degree.”
Some residents said they weren’t shocked with the verbal argument leading to the shooting, they had complaints about noise and disturbances after the bars close.
“What we heard was a lot of suggestions and ideas for making things work a little better in the context of something that’s already a tremendous asset to the community and frankly to the city in many respects.”
Ideas like improving the Piazza’s security, especially after closing time at the bars.
“Hopefully a year from now, everybody will be able to say, ‘We feel more comfortable with some things now than we did before. It really did work to put in the effort to try to work together and talk about how we could make things better.’”
But, Ruben says, the neighborhood is still among the safest in the city.
“The fact is it’s incredibly safe and part of the reason such events come at such a horrible shock is because they’re so infrequent.”
And Ruben says he’s taking the security concerns that were raised to public officials and Piazza management.