FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. W. Curtis Thomas
Thomas decries lawlessness, calls for community policing
Family offers reward for answers in murder of Kevin Drinks
PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 27 – State Rep. W. Curtis Thomas, D-181, called for the reinstatement of community policing at a news conference to urge the community to stand against the general lawlessness in the city and to specifically ask for witnesses in the senseless murder of Kevin Drinks.
Thomas stood with members of Drinks’ family and concerned residents at Girard Avenue and Watts Street where Drinks was murdered on Dec. 10, 2011. They were joined by representatives from the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, and the 22nd and 26th Police Districts.
Thomas spoke out against the general lawlessness that is engulfing the city and affecting his district, and called for a return to community policing as part of a comprehensive strategy.
“We need to reinstate aggressive community policing,” said Thomas, who has been working with community organizations, elected officials and law enforcement to develop violence prevention strategies. “Community policing requires beat cops on foot, bike patrols and mini stations and electronic surveillance in high crime areas – all parts of a good community policing strategy that we need to get crime under control.”
According to the family, Drinks was murdered around 6:30 p.m., on Dec. 10, 2011 on Watts Street as he unloaded a truck for the Underground Market furniture store on Broad Street near Girard where he had been newly hired. After he finished unloading the furniture, Drinks went back to the truck on Watts Street, in back of the store, to retrieve his belongings when he was shot. Allegedly, nothing was stolen from the truck or Drinks. The 50-year-old husband, father and grandfather had only been on the job for a week when he was murdered.
Drinks’ family asked Thomas for help in bringing attention to the case. Thomas, the Drinks family and the Citizens Crime Commission announced a $2,500 reward for information on his murder. Thomas also urged area businesses, clergy and concerned citizens to increase the reward put forth by the family.
Thomas urged law enforcement to reach out and people to speak up for the good of the community.
“While I support the new technology law enforcement is using, engaging the people as partners is the most important part of community policing,” Thomas said. “People will tell you what’s going on if you take the time to develop a relationship with them. Respect for the people in the community also goes a long way in gaining their confidence and cooperation. We are all in this together and eradicating crime and violence in the city will take a joint effort. We all must begin to take ownership and responsibility in our communities and stand up against the lawless element that’s committing the crime. You know who they are. What happened to Kevin Drinks could happen to any one of us.”
The family held a vigil on Watts Street immediately following the press conference. Anyone with information on Drinks’ murder should call the Citizens Crime Commission at 215-546-6532.