Committee highlights House steps to address public safety

House has passed bill to provide lighting, security cameras in public spaces

HARRISBURG, Feb. 27 – Most people know the problem areas in their hometowns, and they typically avoid the public spaces where they know crime can be an issue. Rep. Roni Green (D-Philadelphia) hosted a House Majority Policy Committee to highlight a bill that would allow municipalities to improve public safety by providing communities the necessary lighting and security cameras needed at schools and public spaces where crime might be a concern.

“The Safe Communities Grant Program is another tool in our toolbox to improve public safety and keep our children and young people safe by directly addressing crime and gun violence in our communities,” Green said. “I am grateful the House supported and passed my bill in July, because this program could help all communities by ensuring public spaces are safe spaces.”  

Reps. Green and Rep. Stephen Kinsey authored H.B. 1130.  

Tuesday’s House Majority Policy hearing featured testimony from Marva Linda Montgomery, a Philadelphia resident who first pitched the idea of this type of legislation to Rep. Green, as well as Philadelphia City Councilmember Curtis Jones Jr., who is the Chair of the Committee on Public Safety in Philadelphia and member of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.

“The state House has continued to push legislation that not only provides for workers and families, but also addresses crime and violence in communities across the commonwealth,” Policy Committee Chairman Ryan Bizzarro said. “I’m hopeful the Senate will not miss this valuable opportunity to pass a law-and-order piece of legislation to help make the Safe Communities Grant Program a reality. It would provide the tools our communities and local law enforcement need to make our communities safer.”

Montgomery explained how the use of public lighting and security cameras would document criminal activity and serve as an invaluable aid to law enforcement, explaining that police officers cannot be everywhere.

“It’s not just a Philadelphia problem,” Montgomery said, “it’s a nationwide problem.”

An active community member, Montgomery detailed in her testimony how cameras and lighting would help provide what her mother often said about stopping crime, “First you have to slow them down.”

Councilmember Jones released an updated version of the Blueprint for a Safer Philadelphia last year, including 140 recommendations in an effort to decrease violence.

“It’s well known, if you increase lighting in public areas you will decrease crime,” Councilmember Jones said. “The statistics will show, in places where it’s not well lit or where cameras do not exist, there is crime.

“These lights prevent crime; these cameras save lives.”

Information about this hearing and other House Majority Policy Committee hearings can be found at A livestream of the hearing can be found at Photos to be used for publication can be found at