Mayor Parker tours Kensington and announces city’s settlement with ghost gun makers

Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker celebrated her first 100 days as mayor by visiting the Kensington area. During her visit, she shared her plans for the future and also announced a resolution between the city and Polymer 80 and JSD Supplies, the main manufacturers of ghost guns.

The settlement will make those companies stop selling ghost guns online and in stores for four years, and at gun shows in person for two years in Philadelphia. As part of the agreement, the city will also receive funds from the gun manufacturers.

“I heard that the amount of money needed is approximately $1.3 million. This money will be used to support initiatives aimed at addressing gun violence and removing illegal guns from our streets,” she said.

Parker, along with city officials, employees, and security detail, rode the Market Frankford El train from City Hall to Kensington and Allegheny. They then walked through the Kensington Avenue Business District, where most businesses have closed down. The team finished their tour at the Conwell school on Clearfield Street. It was there that Parker officially swore in the police commissioner on her first day as mayor.

The Kensington Community Revival, also known as KCR, is one of the main priorities of the Parker administration. Parker’s main goal is to permanently close all open-air drug markets, especially the ones in the Kensington neighborhood. The map shows the specific area that needs attention for revival. It includes the streets between Tioga Street and Indiana Avenue, and E Street and Jasper.

“Our goal is not only to stop drug sales, but also to improve the business corridor and the surrounding areas. We want to remove drug users and eliminate Kensington as the main place for drug activity in Philadelphia.”

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During the tour, Parker explained that he has other goals. These goals include reducing the number of homicides and gun violence in the city to the levels they were before the pandemic. He hopes to reach the lowest levels of homicides and gun violence that were recorded in 2014. Stopping “car meets,” which are events where drivers showcase their cars and race on city streets, was also identified as a top priority.

Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel spoke at the event, which lasted for two hours. He expressed optimism for the future of Philadelphia, saying that better days are coming for its residents. He mentioned that there will be a focus on “community policing” and increased law enforcement in areas like Kensington. There will also be oversight to make sure that the police respect civil liberties and don’t violate them.

“We will be adding cameras to most of our cars, so for the first time, our cars will have cameras. Additionally, the body-worn cameras will have sensors integrated into our handguns. This means that when the guns are pulled, the cameras will activate,” he explained. Bethel believes that the key to having a safe city is to focus on prevention, intervention, and enforcement. He plans to have over 150 officers patrolling the streets, with the goal of increasing that number to 300.

The commissioner also mentioned the need to address “quality-of-life crimes,” which include the presence of ATVs on city streets. He stated that he plans to have more police officers on duty during the weekends. The city’s Commerce Director, Alba Martinez, stated that the city is committed to attracting more small and large businesses to the area by expanding the “Taking Care of Business” program.

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