Darby Borough officials declare a state of emergency
DARBY, Pa. - June 24, 2011 (WPVI) -- Police in Darby Borough are taking emergency action, and it looks like they're not kidding around.
Officials in Darby Borough say they have had enough of the violence, and they have declared a state of emergency that went into effect Friday night.
At 8:00 p.m., nearly three dozen Darby Borough officers and Delaware County Sheriff officers fanned out across the town.
Darby has a population of 11,000, but there have been five shootings within three days. In one incident, a person was critically wounded.
"For whatever reason, we're seeing this influx of violence all over the town," said Chief Robert Smythe.
Darby Police Chief Robert Smythe and Mayor Helen Thomas were flanked by several council members and community and religious leaders in announcing a curfew that will affect people off all ages.
Groups of more than three gathered between 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. will be stopped and frisked.
"If you're 12 years old and there are 10 of you standing out there, we will be there," said Mayor Helen Thomas. "If you're 60 years old and it's 10 of you standing out there, smoking marijuana, with a gun or anything, we will be there."
"Anyone acting in a suspicious manner, you're going to be stopped and checked out, and you're going to be asked to produce identification," said Chief Smythe. "If you don't, you're going to be brought in, and if we can charge you, we're going to charge you."
Some residents favor the move, but some are concerned about profiling.
"I hope it doesn't get imposed unjustly," said Bradley Mitchell. "You know folks who are just coming home from work or minding their business being stopped by the cops."
"I think right now with the situation, I think we need to get things under control, you know, see what's what and keep the town safe right now," said Al Robingson.
darby, pennsylvania, crime, cathy gandolfo
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