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The United States Attorney's Office

Eastern District of Pennsylvania

WEED & SEED PROJECT - OBJECTIVES & ACTIVITIES

LAW ENFORCEMENT OBJECTIVE

Eliminate crime and drug trafficking in the target area through community policing and joint law enforcement efforts between local, state and federal agencies.

ACTIVITIES

1) The mayor's new initiative, Operation Safe Streets, has had a profound impact on the community. Through this initiative 2 officers were placed on approximately 90 drugs corners in the area. This initiative has helped residents to feel safer in their community. As a result, properties are being better maintained in many neighborhoods. Many residents have thanked the officers for their presence in the community.

2) The District Attorney's Office continues to work in conjunction with the police department on abandoned properties. So far, 56 nuisance properties have been sealed and 47 others have had lease holds placed on them.

3) D.E.A. and the Philadelphia Housing Authority continue to partner with the Philadelphia Police on a variety of drug and law enforcement task forces.

4) The narcotics enforcement teams continue to partner with federal, state and local enforcement agencies on various task forces to combat drug problems.

COMMUNITY POLICING OBJECTIVE

Reduce crime, educate the community on community policing and encourage residents to collaborate with Law Enforcement Agencies and participate in problem solving efforts.

ACTIVITIES

1) Operation Town Watch staff worked with residents to start 18 new Town Watch programs in the area. 203 residents are now taking part in policing their community.

2) Representatives from the Philadelphia Housing Police and Philadelphia Police Department and the State Attorney General's Office attended the 2002 D.E.F.Y. Camp.

3) The Community Policing Committee continues to meet and discuss their concerns with the police.

4) The District Attorney's Office and U.S. Attorney's Office representatives attended the 3rd Annual D.E.F.Y. Christmas party.

5) 69 residents are participating in 8 Safe Corridor Programs. The program provides a safe route for students to and from school.

PREVENTION/INTERVENTION & TREATMENT OBJECTIVE

Reduce ATOD (Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drugs) & Domestic Abuse, reduce the level of violence in the community through trainings, workshops, Safe Haven activities and collaboration with other community groups.

ACTIVITIES

1) The Philadelphia Police Department is touring the city, including the Weed & Seed area, conducting their Heroin Alert Program. The program brings together ex-drug addicts and family members of people killed by drugs to discuss the effects of drugs. Videos are also shown about the negative effects that drugs can and will have on the drug users' life and family.

2) The Drug Prevention Specialists from C.A.D.E. (Corporate Alliance for Drug Education) and Shalom Inc. continue to provide drug prevention and substance abuse classes to students in 6 area public and parochial schools. Together, they are servicing 2,815 students in the Weed & Seed area.

3) E.D.C.V.S. serviced over 1,500 victims of crime with assistance and education while going through the court system. E.D.C.V.S. was also able recoup $164,000 for victims of crime through the State Victims Compensation Program. The court advocates logged in 315 hours of court time to assist victims of crime.

SAFE HAVEN

1) 185 youths continue to attend regular after-school activities at 4 Safe Havens. They take part in tutorial services and attend a variety of drug prevention, team building and leadership workshops throughout the year. They also attend various educational trips.

2) The youths also participate in the annual summer camps that are held at each of the Safe Haven sites. The camps last 6-8 weeks and provide educational and recreational activities.

NEIGHBORHOOD RESTORATION OBJECTIVE

Improve the physical conditions of the target area, increase resident involvement in beautification projects and facilitate the improvement of employment opportunities.

ACTIVITIES

1) The Mayor's Abandoned Auto Program continues to be very successful. Abandoned autos are not seen on the streets as frequently. The abandoned autos that are seen do not stay out on the streets very long. Previously they remained on the streets for months. They are now removed in days. In the last 2 years, the Philadelphia Police Department towed 6,255 abandoned vehicles.

2) The Mayor's Lot Beautification Project continues to positively effect the area. Last year, 604 abandoned lots were cleaned. The city is working to give ownership of the lots to residents so that the community can maintain the community cleaned properties.

NOTABLE PROGRAMS

1) PEACEMAKER: This is a violence reduction program funded by the William Penn Foundation. The program focuses on young people between the ages of 9 and 12. Youth from three area community centers come together and have teen talk sessions and discuss any and all problems or issues. The groups also attend workshops on various topics, retreats, and recruit other youth in the neighborhood to participate in the program. They receive PEACE DOLLARS for non-violent acts they have done during the week. The dollars can then be used to purchase items from the PEACEMAKER store.

2) D.E.F.Y. (Drug Education For Youth): D.E.F.Y. is a 2-phase program. During Phase I, there is a 5-day residential camp at the PA National Guard Base. Training is given on conflict resolution, team building, leadership skills, substance abuse and hygiene. During Phase II, a mentoring program is held. The mentors include police officers, military personnel from the PA National Guard.

3) TEEN SCREEN: Drug free teens, along with their coordinator, design and produce silk-screened t-shirts for organizations and businesses throughout the City of Philadelphia. Participants learn how to work as a team and also learn a valuable trade that can lead to a job in the future.

4) TROOPERS: This program is conducted in partnership with the PA Army National Guard. Troopers is a mentoring program that utilizes discipline and team work to help keep youth off the streets, in school and drug free. Participants meet every other Monday with national Guard personnel and take part in workshops covering such topics as leadership, team building and substance abuse. They also take part in physical fitness activities. As the participants' leadership skills develop they receive Stripes similar to those worn by military personnel. Military uniforms purchased at discounted prices from the PA Federal/State Surplus Office are worn as part of the program.

5) PERFORMANCE AND APPLIED ARTS: This program is designed to encourage and educate youth on their heritage through the arts. Each person brings to the group their own strengths, talents and skills that they have learned from their parents and other relatives. They attend workshops on Puerto Rico and African Culture and participate in cultural arts & crafts, dances and story telling.

EVALUATION

Sites continue to collect data to help evaluate the effectiveness of the programs and activities at their respective sites.

Updated December 15, 2014

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