25th Police District annual community block party alleviates realities of drug epidemic

Party intended to 'disrupt the open air drug sales for a day'

Steve Tawa
July 18, 2018 - 4:32 pm
Philadelphia police cooked up a community block party to build stronger neighborhood bonds in the 25th Police District.

Steve Tawa | KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia police cooked up a community block party to build stronger neighborhood bonds in the 25th Police District. 

Police put crime tape up on North Front Street between Lehigh Avenue and Somerset Street, but only to section off the party so neighbors could enjoy hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, plus some games for the kids. 

They also got the chance to hop into a squad car. Eleven-year-old Manny flipped the switches for lights and sirens.

"It was cool to see the way they work," he said. "I was talking to them about how I wanted to get involved in law enforcement as an FBI agent, or just being a regular cop."

Children giggled as commanding officers in the Philadelphia Police Department jumped rope or rock climbed with them. 

But on a more serious note, Capt. Javier Rodriguez, commanding officer of the 25th District, said these neighbors in Kensington and Fairhill are confronted on a daily basis with the realities of the heroin epidemic.

"The original idea of this several years ago was to disrupt the open air drug sales for a day," he said.

This third annual block party atmosphere allows officers to interact with the community and alleviate some of those tensions.

"It's ground zero of the narcotics trade in the city, unfortunately, and the citizens here continue to put up with a lot," Rodriguez added.