By Jasmine Payoute

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia city officials came together Monday to reaffirm their commitment to maintaining safety in and around schools. The purpose of Monday’s meeting was for city officials to express their commitment to ensuring schools and the corridors around them remain safe places.

“Around this time last year I lost a close friend and a classmate due to gun violence,” a student said.

READ MORE: First Confirmed Case Of COVID-19 Omicron Variant Reported In Philadelphia, New Jersey

Testimony was heard from students across the city who say their daily lives have been bombarded by gun violence.

“Even though I feel safe in my school, I don’t feel safe around my school, I don’t feel safe coming out of school,” another student said.

On Monday, city leaders came together at Mary McLeod Bethune school to address their concerns that echo across the city.

“As we know violence, unfortunately, isn’t a new phenomenon, but what we’re now seeing is more brazen behavior in and around schools.” Philadelphia Public Schools Superintendent Dr. William R. Hite said.

They discussed violence prevention plans, including increasing patrols around schools and using trained civilians to work around school perimeters.

Other measures included increasing penalties for people who commit violent acts near schools.

READ MORE: Family Of Fallen Delaware County Firefighter Has Mortgage Fully Paid Off

“Today marks the start of the Philadelphia Schools Safe Zones Program between the PPD and the School District of Philadelphia,” Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said.

Mayor Jim Kenney says in addition to that his administration is connecting families to resources such as case management.

“There’s no single solution to gun violence. We need to address this from all angles,” Kenney said.

And it’s not just violence toward children, with more than 400 homicides this year, Hite says school leaders need this assistance too.

“Individuals are either making threats or going to schools and really in some cases assaulting staff so we also wanted to send a clear message that’s not the purpose of school,” Hite said.

Outlaw says her department has identified about 38 schools that would benefit from increased police presence.

MORE NEWS: Mother Of Ahmir Jones, Teen Killed Protecting Girlfriend During Robbery Near Temple University, Speaks Out

For a list of gun violence resources in Philadelphia, click here.

Jasmine Payoute