Dealers from three parts of Philly share their thoughts on the street's most dangerous trade.
What role has Philadelphia's drug trafficking played in the current rash of violence?
South Philly: "I believe the drug dealers have a significant role in the violence currently going on in Philadelphia. The drug-selling world is a violent mentality, which further breeds this destructive mentality to others directly or indirectly.
"The drug traffic plays a part in all the violence going on. People not out here just to be out here; this is how we feed our family. So when it comes down to money, some people will do whatever they have to do to make the most of it."
North Philly: "Drugs definitely has had an effect on Philadelphia communities. People got corners, and they just killing each other over the money. But not only that. Times is totally different now from when I was younger."
How has increased police surveillance changed the way drugs are being sold?
South Philly: "The increase of police surveillance in drug areas has disrupted the flow of traffic, temporarily causing them to move their operation or pick up new methods of distribution."
North Philly: "You got prepaid cell phones, but you change phones every month. You got lookouts when you out there in the street, you got people selling it out of their house, and you also got drop-off spots to avoid the hand-to-hand exchange."
Is the traditional way of selling drugs on the corner over?
South Philly: "That's definitely true. They're still out on the corner, but not as much, and they use different ways of moving their product."
North Philly: "Absolutely not. Most drug dealers are arrogant and don't care."
Southwest Philly: "It's like football. If the defensive team found a way to stop one of your plays on offense, you pick a different play to run on them, hoping this one will work."
Why do so many young kids become involved?
South Philly: "The absentee parents and lack of supervision, along with lack of opportunities are the main three reasons."
North Philly: "There's no family help in the household, and so many laws that stop parents from disciplining their children, and then they grow up doing whatever they want."
Southwest Philly: "People not raising their kids right, the lack of fathers in the household, too many parents out partying and allowing their kids to run wild in the street."
Will police ever be able to control local drug areas?
South Philly: "The police can gain control of a drug area, but for how long is the real question. Police manpower can't remain in one area for a long period of time, and if they do, drug areas will only move to another location to set up their operation."
North Philly: "Not at all. As long as drugs keep finding their way into the city, drugs are going to be sold. No matter what. Drug dealers will always find better ways to maneuver around police. Each new mayor can try and stop it, but money will still be made."
Southwest Philly: "They'll never be able to gain control over it because it's bigger than just trying to shut down corners. As long as there are addicts, people will find a way to sell it to them because that's money being made."
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