Brown wants Gov. Tom Wolf to send Pa. National Guard to Philadelphia
After another violent weekend in which 39 people were shot, state Rep. Amen Brown, D-Phila., is calling upon Gov. Tom Wolf to deploy the Pennsylvania National Guard to provide much needed support in Philadelphia in addressing this gun violence crisis.
Brown said the focus needs to be on patrolling hot spot areas such as the Kensington neighborhood, college campuses, SEPTA stations or any neighborhood that has seen an uptick in violent crime.
“I am calling on Governor Wolf to declare a state of emergency in Philadelphia, as he did in October 2020 after the Walter Wallace shooting, and immediately deploy the Pennsylvania National Guard to the streets of Philadelphia,” Brown said.
“Our city officials are not going to stop the epidemic of gun violence. We have tried constitutional executive orders, launching gun buyback programs, and marches and rallies. While those efforts are appreciated, we need more. Constituents want more to feel safe. In order to address this gun violence, we need long-term efforts and a commitment to immediate action – with the latter not being prioritized by many city officials.”
Brown said he recognizes that this call for action may not appeal to everyone, but based on feedback from the community he serves, they are demanding protection, because public safety must be a priority.
"We have become a place where we routinely have 100 or 150 rounds fired in shootings - sometimes from automatic weapons," Brown said. "We have had mass shootings and mass casualty events, one after another. Our families and children are traumatized. Our communities are not recovering."
Brown remarked that of the city's nearly 6,000 police officers, only 2,500 are currently assigned to patrol assignments, and districts are understaffed.
Brown emphasized that the PA National Guard are not police and cannot be expected to conduct police work or arrests. They provide essential logistical support during times of national crisis or emergencies.
"I have community members of all ages telling me how they are afraid to step out on the front porch," Brown said. "No one should have to live like that. As electeds, it is our job to do all we can to protect our people. "