Philadelphians speak out soberly about the city's spreading crime epidemic.
Neighborhood: Southwest Philadelphia.
Occupation: Home healthcare aide.
"In '05 I thought about leaving the city. I've been here 17 years. I spent my first 11 in West Africa--Liberia. I stay home. To me the problem is the hip-hop community. It disappoints me because I used to frequent those gatherings, the clubs and stuff like that. I stopped a long time ago."
Neighborhood: West Philadelphia.
Occupation: Administrative assistant at Hickman Temple Church.
"I have a 16-year-old grandson. He's a wonderful boy, and I pray that he stays safe. He walks to the bus station. No one ever causes him trouble because he's nonconfrontational. This neighborhood is getting a lot better. People are speaking out and coming forward when they see things. They're cleaning up the parks. There are college kids coming in to tutor in the church. It's a good thing."
Neighborhood: South Philadelphia.
Occupation: Commercial roofer.
"Officer Cassidy's out there protecting the earth, and he got murdered. These people don't have a spiritual life. They don't have respect for anybody. This is getting to be a deadly city. The devil does terrible things to a mind. The devil can destroy a person."
Comments on this story can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
PW's Holiday Guide 2014