A formerly idyllic neighborhood in Philadelphia’s suburban Bucks County has turned into a drug haven, and residents are upset. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that three years ago, drug peddlers took over the corner of Spruce and Buckley Streets, amid rows of homes in the shadow of a “Drug Free School Zone” sign. There were fights, robberies and police chases. Strangers began flocking to the neighborhood, and longtime residents began moving away.
Susan Brewington can’t sell her home because the value has dropped; she keeps her young daughter inside, away from the windows of her rowhouse, in case bullets start to fly – as they did last week in the midday a few yards from an elementary School. More than a dozen shots shattered car windows, narrowly missed a child sitting in a car. The Inquirer says the episode “drove fear into the heart of a community struggling to shake its image as Bucks County’s new haven for quick highs and fast cash.”
“The thugs are taking over,” said Brewington, 43, who grew up in the neighborhood and bought her home there 22 years ago. On Monday night, Brewington and 30 other residents took their fear and anger to a Borough Council meeting to demand that elected officials and police do something.
“If nothing’s done, tragedy is going to happen,” he said. Police Chief Arnold Porter said his department is using all its resources to fight the problem. From May to last month, police responded to 173 calls in the area.