Philadelphia Leaders Raising Alarm On Growing Trend Of Gun Violence

Alecia Reid reports.

Video Transcript

- City leaders are raising the alarm on the growing trend of gun violence-- a trend that has already taken the lives of more than 60 young people this year. Their continued calls for action span from community leaders and others in the city. Eyewitness News reporter Alecia Reid live for us tonight in Center City with more on their message today. Alecia?

ALECIA REID: Good evening, Joe. Last year was the deadliest Philadelphia has seen in decades. And right now, the city is projected to surpass that number if homicides continue at the current rate. Today's rally was a call to action.

In front of the Francis Myers Recreation Center in Southwest Philadelphia, council member Kenyatta Johnson, chairman of the Special Committee on Gun Violence Prevention, organized a call to action. For peace, not guns.

17-year-old Kyeir Pickens was shot and killed while playing basketball outside the rec center last Friday. Johnson is requesting updated security cameras outside rec centers in the second district, and wants the Philadelphia Police Department to maintain a constant presence around rec centers throughout the city until at least September. Johnson says the Special Committee's new partnership with community groups aims to provide services for youth at rec centers in his district. This is a first in a series of Community Conversations that Councilman Johnson plans to hold where residents can share suggestions on ways to increase peace in Philadelphia.

Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw says officers will be more visible in areas plagued by gun violence.

DANIELLE OUTLAW: High visibility in a lot of our troubled areas. Not only in our vehicles, but out on foot, out on bicycle, and specifically, again, around our locations where we know we expect to see large gatherings of people.

ALECIA REID: Councilman Johnson says this series of conversations between now and September will help form his public safety requests for the upcoming 2021 operating budget. Reporting live from Center City, Alecia Reid, CBS3 Eyewitness News.