Philly Mayor Increases Police In Kensington As "Phase 2" Of Clearing Out Open Air Drug Markets Begins

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Jun 12, 2024 - 12:00 AM

The more things change in the Kensington area of Philadelphia, the more they appear to stay the same. 

Police in the drug-riddled Northeast are of the city are now moving to "Phase 2" of their improvement plan for the area, but video showed on social media over the weekend appears to make it clear that there's still a lot of work to be done. 

Next week, Philadelphia police will intensify patrols in Kensington as part the initiative, NBC reported this weekend.

This enforcement phase will focus on apprehending drug dealers, executing warrant sweeps, and addressing prostitution along with other crimes impacting the community's quality of life. Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel expressed concerns to NBC10 about a lethal new Fentanyl variant causing fatalities in the area.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel said: “We will move into a space where we’ll be adding a substantial number of officers down into Kensington to address the drug sales and the drug activity and the poison sold on the street everyday.”

Some are still skeptical. “You can’t really police your way out of this. You have to make sure that people go into treatment and the resources are available," said Rosalind Pichardo, the project manager for the Sunshine House, a hub for overdose and gun violence prevention services.

“Yesterday, we responded to four overdoses,” she added. 

Recall we wrote last month that as part of new mayor Cherelle Parker's plan, during "Phase I", the city was clearing out homeless encampments along the 3000 and 3100 blocks of Kensington Avenue.

The Philadelphia Tribune reported that the city would displace hundreds of unhoused individuals to clear encampments in Kensington. At-Large Councilmember Kendra Brooks asked if there are enough beds for all those displaced and managing Director Adam Thiel assured that there are sufficient beds citywide.

“We are building this ecosystem of facilities so we can get folks to the right place for the right care, for the right time, until they get back on their feet and can have access to economic opportunity,” he said.

“They have to get rid of the drug dealers. Because if you don’t get rid of the drug dealers, [people] are going to keep coming back," one resident said simply this past weekend.