University City: West Philadelphians Unite to Reduce Crime

People gathered in University City to enjoy the nice weather.]

Students watched a game from a bench on Penn's campus.

University City is known for being generally safe, in part due to pressure for safety because of the large student population.

But to people like State Rep. James R. Roebuck, the title of University City is an artificial creation. He sees no difference between that neighborhood and the rest of West Philadelphia.

The University City District was designed with the purpose of keeping University City safe and with ambassadors, community initiatives and some police presence, the area doesn’t see much violent crime. In contrast, surrounding areas in West Philadelphia also have community groups to monitor and take an active role in securing the community.

People gathered in University City to enjoy the nice weather.

Patty Bulack started her group in September after a rape and robbery happened across the street from her home. Her organization has grown to be a community-building network of neighbors that keep in touch about crimes as they happen and problem-solve about keeping each other safer. This includes training, watching and discussions about all issues related to enhancing the area.

Friends talked to one another on campus in West Philadelphia.

From the beginning Bulack said that she always believed in having compassion and concern for the arrested as well as the people that have been victimized. That has been foundational for the way she approaches her town watch organization. She said she never wants to promote hate, fear or vengeance; her intent is solely to continue growing a strong community.



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