By Kim Glovas
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – For the first time in 10 years, the Philadelphia Housing Authority plans to hire 50 new police officers to patrol it’s developments.
Interim Executive Director Kelvin Jeremiah says a $6 million contract now being used for security guards will be phased out and police officers will be hired over the next year. He says the change is in response to residents concerns about safety. But Jeremiah also had this concern.
“I question every day, when I visit one of our sites, whether I would want my mother to live in one of those places. And that answer should be yes at every location, but unfortunately, at some locations, it is not.”
Jeremiah says the officers will have wider policing powers than security guards and will be better able to address quality of life issues like drug sales, domestic violence and gang activity. PHA is also planning to install more security cameras throughout the system.