As students head back to school today, some community members in Northwest Philadelphia are pitching in to ensure a smooth transition for students attending schools outside of their neighborhoods.
Volunteers for the “WalkSafePHL” initiative trained last week at the Philadelphia Center for Arts and Technology.
The group brainstormed scenarios and practiced via walkie-talkies.
He says volunteers will identify dangerous situations and steer kids to safety, said Doug Evans, a coordinator for Town Watch Integrated Services, a citywide anti-crime agency that is organizing the safe corridor program.
In an emergency they are trained to call police or school officials and will also fill out incident reports.
“We just want people to be eyes and ears and if they see anything, report it,” Evans said.
East Oak Lane resident Russell McCullough will be part of the patrol team for Wagner Middle School and Prince Hall Elementary. He says the district has limited resources and he’s trying to fill in where they can’t.
“I like the fact that we’re able to aid and help the situation,” said McCullough.
Mack Duncan, a resident of West Oak Lane and the president of Mt. Airy Concerned Neighbors, will be patrolling Leeds Middle School, which is now sharing its campus with Parkway Northwest High School.
“We’re concerned about young people and education, so we want to be a part of that,” said Duncan. “On the positive side of it.”
Evans hopes to have two patrol persons per block, although expects he’ll need to recruit more volunteers in the coming weeks.
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