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Crime File: Drugs - Community Response

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Following a segment that describes an organized neighborhood response to drug trafficking in Philadelphia, this video presents a panel discussion of the effectiveness of this program and community drug control efforts in a section of Los Angeles.
The video opens with a profile of the work of some 60 Philadelphia neighborhood groups that organize residents to occupy the streets from dusk to dawn, specifically spots where drugs are sold. They cooperate with the police in reporting drug activity and other crimes. They also board up abandoned buildings used as "crack houses." In the panel discussion, Herman Wrice, one of the Philadelphia community organizers, describes how the seriousness of the drug impact in neighborhoods has stirred residents to sustained action. Captain Gordon Harrison, community officer of a division in the Los Angeles Police Department, describes his division's use of foot patrol, clean-ups, and police-citizen cooperation in addressing drug problems in a 30-block area. Wesley Skogan, professor of urban affairs at Northwestern University notes the difficulty of sustaining neighborhood responses to crime and suggests a focus on housing and youth programs.

Date Published: January 1, 1990