The campaign has raised $40,000 so far for security in Society Hill
Philadelphia's Society Hill neighborhood is one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in the city, according to Visit Philadelphia. Home to historic Washington Square, the neighborhood is also considered one of the safest. But when shots were fired in the neighborhood last summer, a group of residents decided they needed more security.
A town watch headed by resident Joe Dain was formed, and a GoFundMe campaign was started to raise funds to hire a security patrol for the upcoming summer, from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
So far, the fundraiser has exceeded its goal of $32,000 by over $8,000. The proposal is to hire an unarmed OPS security guard to patrol the neighborhood on weekends during the summer, acting as a visual deterrent.
Some people don't think a security guard is needed in the relatively safe neighborhood. Dain said he assured people who were concerned about a security patrol possibly causing more harm than good that the guard will be unarmed.
After the pandemic, the area saw an increase in stolen packages, aggressive panhandling, and car vandalism, according to Dain. The security guard would not have the authority to enforce laws, but would have to contact the police to report any illegal activity. Society Hill has also secured a summer police patrol from South Street Detail.
This isn't the first time areas of Philadelphia have wanted extra security. Dain says that Old City hired OPS security for foot patrol. At the height of the pandemic in 2020, businesses in Manayunk and the Italian Market hired armed security guards to patrol South Ninth Street. And last year, a parent of a Temple University student hired security for her son's off-campus neighborhood.
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