I recently returned to work for a non-profit in Center City Philadelphia. It’s great to be back in the city, it makes me feel more a part of things. Because of the cold, my walk has been limited to about seven blocks. What’s crazy is what I haven’t seen in this time.
It’s been a little more than 3 weeks and I’ve yet to see my first police officer aside from those whizzing by in their cars. Not one policeman or woman walking a beat. No directing of traffic, no standing on the corner making sure there’s no trouble.
It’s not like there isn’t a need – there is a total disregard for traffic laws by drivers, bikers, and pedestrians. There are intersections where blocking the box is the rule. And what happened to the blitz on renegade bicyclists? Seems like it lasted a day. And while they’re at it, there are too many pedestrians that could use a jaywalking ticket. And maybe a visible presence on the streets would prevent the bank robberies that happened downtown recently.
It seems to me that policing shouldn’t be limited to cars, subways, airports, and ghettos. It seems that the Philadelphia Police are only focused on anyone carrying a gun or selling drugs. That’s all well and good, but for the other 99% of situations that deserve their attention, it’s every man, woman, and child for themselves.