City leaders plan response to latest youth riot

Police commissioner Charles Ramsey announced an increased police presence in Center City following the violence that erupted Friday night and ended with two men being hospitalized and three teens - and an 11-year-old-boy - being arrested.

What is unclear, however, is how many additional officers will be patrolling the area.

Ramsey, Everett Gillison, Deputy Mayor for Public Safety, and other city leaders had a private meeting and conference call with Mayor Nutter Tuesday afternoon to discuss a coordinated response to the latest riot.

"We want to make sure that we don't have future incidents, or at least we minimize them as best we can," Ramsey said outside the Municipal Services Building on Arch Street near 15th after the meeting.

Nutter's office announced Monday that city leaders, including the District Attorney's Office and the Department of Human Services, are forming a plan to address the issue, and hope to outline the details next week.

As of now, city officials are considering everything from increased police presence, to community outreach to counseling to change the way Philadelphia responds to these attacks, and to send a message that violence at the hands of rowdy teens won't be tolerated.

"We don't know what their needs are," Gillison said, "What I can tell you is we don't need them acting out in this way."

City leaders plan to call upon iPledge participants to volunteer with Philadelphia's youth, Gillison said,

Nutter’s iPledge initiative, which was unveiled in mid-July, focuses on individual Philadelphians making pledges to have a positive impact on their community. 

However, officials also said they want Philadelphia residents to get involved.  

"This is something we need the community, and parents in particular, to be involved in," Ramsey said, "And these youngsters have to be responsible for their own behavior."