Better security, more monitoring sought at Philly’s recreation centers

In an effort to better monitor Philadelphia’s parks and recreation facilities, a City Council committee has advanced a bill that would mandate an annual report on violent incidents.

The report would detail the crimes that occur at each park and recreation facility.

The department is working on improving security, including determining exactly who is using sports facilities, says Susan Slawson, first deputy commissioner of the recreation department.

“One of the things that we found out when we started going through the rosters of the leagues was that we were not getting actual names, we were getting nicknames,” she said. “So if anything were to happen on the basketball court we had no idea. We don’t know who ‘Boo Boo’ is.”

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Slawson says the recreation department is adding security cameras.

“We have evidence that if we have the proper security systems in place, it makes a difference about what goes on inside our facilities and outside our facilities,” she told council members.

Philadelphia also is considering banning all guns — including registered firearms — from any city-owned building or recreation facility.

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