Penn Police unfazed by prospect of future flash mobs
A city-wide curfew designed to limit the number of violent flash mobs, enacted on Aug. 12, is likely to end in a few days.
September 7, 2011, 11:14 pm · Updated September 9, 2011, 6:09 am·
A city-wide curfew designed to limit the number of violent flash mobs is likely to end in a few days — but Penn Police aren’t fazed by the prospect of flash mob appearances on campus.
Philadelphia Mayor and 1979 Wharton graduate Michael Nutter signed an executive order in August that enacted a curfew to combat flash mob violence that had led to assaults and injuries in the city.
Since Aug. 12, minors aged 13 to 17 have been forbidden from being outdoors after 9 p.m. on weekends in Center City and University City without adult supervision.
The order will likely expire this weekend, returning to the former midnight curfew for minors on weekends, Vice President of Public Safety Maureen Rush said.
First set to expire Sept. 3, Nutter later extended the curfew through Labor Day weekend.
However, “we don’t expect there will be a huge change” in campus safety after the curfew expires, Rush said.
The curfew “didn’t affect University City at all, quite frankly,” she said, adding that there were no curfew citations this summer in the Penn patrol zone, which extends from 30th Street to 43rd Street and from Baltimore Avenue to Market Street.
“We haven’t seen a lot of [the 13 to 17 year old] age group, period,” Rush said. The curfew was tailored more toward the Center City area, where about 70 curfew violations were made the first Friday and Saturday nights it was in effect.
In addition, the Division of Public Safety has “always been proactive” dealing with flash mobs, an issue that arose in West Philadelphia in 2008, Rush said.
College junior June Luo, who lived on campus this summer, does not think the expiration of the curfew will affect campus safety.
Luo saw one incident this summer, before the curfew was enacted, where local teenagers were causing “rowdiness” near campus. The presence of the Penn police was “assuring,” and the group was quickly broken up, Luo said.