PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Wednesday marked Day 2 of an emergency hearing to address Philadelphia’s gun violence crisis. City Council’s Special Committee on Gun Violence Prevention met for nearly six hours.
Day 2 of an emergency hearing on gun violence prevention in Philadelphia began with several testy exchanges.
“We’re studying this thing and studying it, but people are still dying,” Councilmember Curtis Jones Jr. said.
“The lack of urgency that I’m feeling right now is just stunning,” Councilmember Cindy Bass said.
One by one, councilmembers continued to demand evidence of improvement from prevention programs on the rising gun crisis plaguing the city, putting entities like the Office of Violence Prevention on the defensive.
“I will keep coming before this committee with better and better answers and results as a work that we’re doing as a hope that we’ll get to that point where we see more of that progress,” Theron Pride, with the Office of Violence Prevention, said.
The hearing brought together various agencies to discuss ways of solving growing shootings and homicide rates with illegal guns being at the center of the debate.
“I never ever during my time as deputy commissioner believed that somehow guns would be marginalized to a place where a guy can go out there and have multiple arrests with guns and still being able to walk the streets,” Kevin Bethel, special advisor for school safety, said.
Hours-long testimony wrapped up with many weary community members speaking out about how the violence impacts them.
“We’re definitely lodging detainers on gun cases, we understand the severity of that, we understand the importance of our lives and our community. So the probation department has always been focused on safety,” Darlene Miller, with Adult Probation and Parole Department, said.
The two-day hearing is just the beginning of a series of ways City Council is looking to stem Philadelphia’s gun violence crisis.
For a list of gun violence resources in Philadelphia, click here.