PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Two teenagers were shot near a recreation center Tuesday night in Germantown. It’s another incident in a rash of shootings victimizing children.
On Wednesday, the city held its bi-weekly gun violence prevention hearing.READ MORE: Carjacking Suspect Kevin Wade, Of Philadelphia, Arrested After Police Chase Through South Jersey Towns
Gun violence surrounding recreation centers in Philadelphia continues to raise concerns.
On Tuesday night, two teens were shot near the Happy Hollow Center in Germantown. Both survived.
But a deadly shooting on the basketball court of the Christy Rec Center in West Philadelphia a few weeks ago now means more of an increased police presence around these facilities.
“As you all know, we’ve seen some horrific shootings lately that happened around our rec centers and our parks. And we want to ensure that as the weather gets warmer we have a strategy in place that’s not only security, not only programming. How are we making sure that families feel safe and secure to have their kids utilize those sites,” Philadelphia Managing Director Tumar Alexander said.READ MORE: Dr. Fauci Predicts Johnson & Johnson Vaccine To Come Back To Market With Restrictions Or Warnings By Friday
“What we’ve done thus far is increase our presence on foot and/or stationary at rec centers that have either been identified in hot spots, as far as neighborhoods, or where they’ve had issues already at the rec center,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said.
During the mayor’s bi-weekly gun violence prevention hearing, police addressed the rising gun violence at recreation centers and say they have already increased patrols in crime hot spot areas and will continue to do so as more centers begin to open to the public.
“Next week, starting Monday, 120 rec centers will be open. So that means that we have to regroup and talk about how we’re going to cover down on as many rec centers as possible,” Deputy Commissioner Joel Dales said.
The parks and recreation department will be unveiling a summer plan to address safety next week. All of this comes on the heels of sobering new crime statistics involving young victims.
“We’ve had 120 homicides year to date, with 15 of these homicide victims being children,” Outlaw said.MORE NEWS: Teens Age 15, 16, Charged In Series Of Violent Carjackings In Delaware
Police will be establishing a more visible presence working with other agencies to ensure that recreation centers, meant to be safe outlets for youth, remain that way heading into the summer season.