By Greg Argos


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Residents packed the 1st Police District in South Philadelphia Tuesday night to express their concerns about crime in their neighborhood, perhaps representing how many people feel throughout the city with the uptick in violent crimes plaguing the city.

“I can’t walk across the street by myself without the fear of — now it’s guns,” one person said. “It’s not knives. I can take a beating.”

Those who live within the police department’s 1st District gathered to speak with the police captain and community officers who patrol their streets.

The meeting was the first since a disturbing discovery was made last week.

Investigators uncovered the remains of 18-year-old Erin Schweikert in a basement on the 2100 block of Porter Street.

One neighbor said he often witnessed drug transactions taking place outside that home.

“I watched six drug deals a day. What’s the threshold for calling 911? I feel like an idiot,” he said.

“Our response to that is call 911. If your gut tells you something is wrong, share that information with us,” one police official said. “Because if your gut is telling you something is wrong, there is probably something wrong.”

According to the Philadelphia police website, there have been 30 homicides so far in 2020. That’s an 81% increase from this date in 2019, which saw the city’s highest murder rate since 2007.

Officers at Tuesday night’s meeting addressed that investigation and also offered suggestions on how to prevent other nonviolent crimes, like package and other property theft.